Socitm calls for local authorities to make their websites more mobile friendly

Socitm, the public sector IT managers group, has called for local authorities to take action in response to the growing numbers of users using mobiles to use council’s online services. In its report titled ‘The mobile experience: some feedback from council websites’, Socitm analyses the results of its Website Performance service which has been making a pop up survey available to people accessing the site from mobile devices. The survey found that there was an average of 27.4% visits from mobile devices for the first five months of this year, peaking at 28.8% in January, which has been attributed to poor weather.

Socitm says that the services people are accessing effects whether they will use a mobile or desktop computer. For example, users are twice as likely to visit websites to use leisure facilities services from a mobile as from a desktop. The research also found that people are 16% more likely to use their mobile to find information rather than their desktop, but 12% less likely if they are making a transaction.

The report goes on to assess options for councils to improve users’ mobile experience which include: the development of a separate, dedicated mobile site; the development of a mobile template for the main site and a native app that must be downloaded from an app store.

Findings of our mobile survey prompt further questions about mobile users and usage” says Martin Greenwood, author of the Socitm briefing, “and it is wise not to make too many assumptions. The mobile user may be someone ‘on the move’, but they could be someone in the home who finds using their smartphone to access the internet quicker than firing up their desktop. Equally, the mobile user may be somebody who has no PC at all, and relies on their phone to access the Internet.”

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