The way that website visitors are led to tasks is fundamental to website design. Home page layout must be simple and clear and provide easy access to tasks users are looking for. The same goes for service landing pages, since many website visitors bypass the home page, arriving on a specific page via a search engine like Google.
All councils (407) were tested on navigation of top tasks
Better connected believes the ‘top tasks’ approach to navigation to be critical to achieving a high quality online experience.
Sites were tested with two questions indicative of how well they have adopted this approach. These assess the design of the home page and the consistency of the design on landing pages. Many websites are too cluttered and complicated to apply the 'top tasks' concept effectively.
The other factor used for assessing the quality of navigation was the reviewer rating of their experience navigating the site across the various tasks tested.
According to these criteria, 37% met the standard, up from last year’s 33%.
A series of supplementary questions (not used in the calculation of site ranking) were used to highlight good and poor practice.
Check ‘coverage’ to see if your council has been surveyed. Go to councils page and select your council. Look for link to task report under 2017-18 results
Councils with no A-Z are not penalised in the scoring, see scoring box opposite
|Search and A-Z|
Easy 'top tasks' navigation is hampered where:
Better connected reviewers found that council websites have at least two navigational devices on the home page excluding use of search and A to Z index. The average is over four for each site, and eleven sites have 10 or more different navigational devices on the home page, causing clutter and confusion.
Do you do digital? (Socitm Insight, April 2014) includes advice about home page presentation and provides a ‘vanilla’ home page design for desktop and mobile. However, it warns: Don’t rely on what has worked for others… test, test and test again with real users and play close attention to immediate, online survey feedback of the user experience.
Reviewer 1: Many sites promote some top tasks on home pages but did not do a very good job at promoting top tasks on landing pages.
Reviewer 2: Home pages often had lots of different navigation options rather than genuinely focusing on top topics and top tasks.
Reviewer 3: Many councils have just slapped tasks on the front page but the landing pages do not continue this focus.
Reviewer 4: Too many sites still have too many competing navigational approaches on the home page. One simple, consistent method of getting to tasks, within categories, is all that is required – less is more.
Reviewer 5: News still dominates in many places.
Adur & Worthing
Argyll & Bute
East Riding of Yorkshire
Hinckley & Bosworth BC
North Yorkshire CC