Quantifying the User Experience: Evaluating Government Web Content

Last week at work I was chairing a pan-Canadian task team meeting and my dear colleague had this closing remark “Oh, you’re so cute; you remind me of me 20 years ago.  This is a very nice idea, but is it achievable?”  I had been considering canning the blog idea since I’m so busy at work trying to implement lofty ideals.  Today I’ll share something very tangible.  I encourage you to use it and let me know if it works, or tell me how you’ve adjusted it for your own environment.

In an effort to quantify the user experience so we could measure it,  I’ve modified a private-sector model for government use to assign quantities to quality.  It can be used as a checklist for new content being added to your website, to inform policies that need to be in place to encourage content contributors to develop good quality content and/or as an evaluation tool for live web content.  The full score-card version in a fillable spreadsheet format is posted in the right hand column through the box.net widget, which doesn’t appear to work that well in Firefox, so if you want me to send you a copy,e-mail me.

Click on the image above to go to the full checklist version.

Click on the image above to go to the full checklist version.

How to use it

By attributing a value out of 20 for each of five statements in each category, you end up with this really neat spider chart (below).  Each of the four categories – findability, compliance, credibility and optimization – is an axis on the chart, visually demonstrating the quality of your web content and noting areas for improvement and which are already areas of success.

Each of the four categories - findability, compliance, credibility and optimization - is an axis on the Spider chart, visually demonstrating the quality of your web content.

Each of the four categories - findability, compliance, credibility and optimization - is an axis on the spider chart; visually demonstrating the quality of your web content.

You can even compare it over time to demonstrate improvements (hopefully) by re-examining the content periodically and plotting the values on the same chart (see below).

Plot multiple data sets to compare an evaluation from one time to another.

Plot multiple data sets to compare an evaluation from one time to another.

Props to Robert Rubinoff of sitepoint.

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About Laura

As a Business Analyst working for the Canadian federal government in Web usability, I have the opportunity to be a part of a growing movement of professionals implementing user-centered design principles.
This entry was posted in Measuring success and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Quantifying the User Experience: Evaluating Government Web Content

  1. Pingback: What makes a good KPI for a web site? « Results for Canadians: Measuring Success in Government

  2. Angellaa says:

    Hmm, very cognitive post.
    Is this theme good unough for the Digg?

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