Building detail on Capitol Hill map it

Photo by John Bahr

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Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk E-Government Conference 2004

City of Seattle E-Government Strategies

Presented by Bruce Blood, Manager, Citywide Web Team, City of Seattle, July 8, 2004

Responding to Citizens and other Customers

Perhaps the single most important principle of web development is to know and listen to your audience. Your users will tell you what they care about and like (or dislike) about your website, so it's very important to provide a number of ways for your audience to express their opinions.

User Comment

Most basically, on every Seattle.gov page header there's a link to the City Contacts page which includes a section specifically for contacting the Citywide Web Team. The footer of each page contains a link to the City's main Questions/Complaints form in the footer of every page on Seattle.gov.

Surveys

In addition Seattle.gov often publish surveys to poll our users about a particular question. The Seattle.gov team listens to the comments we receive and imncorporates many of the suggestion and requests.

Usability Studies

It can very valuable to periodically ask selected users their opinions in a more controlled environment using a standardized set of questions. For the latest redesign of Seattle.gov we conducted three rounds of usability testing, and made numerous changes to the design based on the results. For more on usabilty issues see the Nielsen Norman Group Reports Page.

Statistics

The Seattle.gov team also tracks Seattle.gov web traffic using the WebTrends statistics server. Analysis of web ststistics allows us to determine which parts of the site are the most popular, and tailor the navigation scheme accordingly.

Examples

Here just a few features of Seattle.gov that have been developed, enhanced or highlighted in direct response to feedback received through one of more the above channels:

Bruce Blood
Manager, Citywide Web Team
City of Seattle
July 8, 2004