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Praise For Council’s Website, But Do You Agree?

Published on: 7 Mar, 2014
Updated on: 7 Mar, 2014

Guildford Borough Council’s website has been praised for its “clear, customer-focused content”. But what do you think?

Clear or cluttered? the home page of Guildford Borough Council's website.

Clear or cluttered? The home page of Guildford Borough Council’s website.

A report by a group called the Society of Information Technology Managers (SOCITM) has awarded the council’s website four stars. And that’s the highest accolade it can give, which means Guildford Borough Council’s website is in the top 7% of local government websites in the UK.

Cllr Matt Furniss, Lead Councillor for Environment said: “We’re delighted. The four-star ranking shows that the improvements we have made to our website have really paid off, making it more customer-focused and easier to use.”

The council’s website was praised for its “clear and clutter free homepage and landing pages, a user-friendly form of navigation and easy to understand content”.

The SOCITM reviewer said: “This is a site showing great promise. Only one form of navigation makes it easy to pick out what you are looking for and it works really well. The landing pages are similarly clutter-free. The content is very well-judged and is certainly succinct.”

The website’s  design for mobile phones and tablets was highlighted as being particularly impressive. The reviewer added: “The site excels in the experience it delivers on a mobile, where it is second to none. I would recommend any council reviewing their content for mobiles to draw inspiration from this simple and effective mobile site experience.”

What are your views of the council’s website? Do you find it pleasing to navigate and easy find information? Perhaps you agree with the accolade. Please leave a reply in the box below. And to make things fair, you can tell us what you like or dislike about this website too.

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Responses to Praise For Council’s Website, But Do You Agree?

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    March 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Yes the GBC website is a good clear site and works well if you are able to follow the prefered routes to the obvious information. Unfortunately if you want to investigate a bit deeper, like monthly pothole repair reports, it gets a bit more difficult.

    Examples of my main easy issues.

    The search engine is virtually useless and I often resort to external engines or manual searching. Of course it could be my ability as a silver surfer, but I’ve been using computer databases and search engines online for over 30 years; yes before the internet.

    My experience is the GBC website didn’t work with Google Chrome browser, a quite popular software. Screenshots of this were sent to GBC.

    In September, the Refuse/Recycle TEXT notification service was suspended “for a few weeks”. Understandable with the roll-out of Green Wheelie bins. Come the the New Year it was still shut down. Now due to the website development project. My enquiry at the beginning of last month led to the reply “another 6 months”. As I can’t find my collection dates using my default Chrome browser, this is a bit frustrating as I have to resort to a printed list!

    Worse though is that the IT/Web department appear to feel the GBC Codes of Practice don’t apply to them. When I raised these issues by an email to Customer Services, I got an acknowledgement, but no further communications. When I followed up 3 weeks later, I was told the query had been passed to the IT, but CS had no response.

    The GBC CoP requires a reply to be made to a communication, or an interim explanation, within 10 working days. Maybe, as with GBC Financial Services, Codes of Practice are more “guidelines than hard rules” as stated in correspondence I have from the managers.

  2. Alex Wilks Reply

    March 9, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I’ve used the website a fair bit over the past few months and I’ve rarely struggled to find what I’m looking for. It may not be visually exciting, but it’s incredibly easy to use.

  3. sue fox Reply

    March 11, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Last week trying to find a planning application was a nightmare, you go backwards and forwards only determination to find something gets you to stay with it. It used to be quite user friendly not any more.
    Not impressed and I’ve used it for years.

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