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Socitm: Councils must make mobile access to websites easier

Socitm had 2,000 responses from mobile users of council websites

Councils must make greater efforts to make it easier for mobile users to access their websites, says public sector IT managers association Socitm.

For its "Mobile experience: some feedback from council websites" survey and report, Socitm had 2,000 responses from mobile users of council websites.

The Socitm survey shows that the percentage of visits to council websites from mobile devices averaged 27.4 percent for the first five months of 2013.

The research found visitors are more than twice as likely to visit websites for leisure facilities from a mobile than from a desktop, while "schools/youth" services attract nearly double the number of visits from mobile devices.

The data also shows that visitors are 16 percent more likely to use their mobile device for finding information than using their desktops, but are 12 percent less likely to use it for transactions like making payments.

In terms of user experience, "visit failure" is on average 13 percent higher when mobile devices are used, and visitor satisfaction is on average 11 percent lower.

Up to 20 percent of mobile survey respondents said they would not use their mobile devices again for accessing council websites.

To help alleviate problems Socitm says councils should develop a separate mobile website, or develop a mobile template for the main site.

They could also develop a native mobile council website app that can be downloaded from an app store, said Socitm.

Martin Greenwood, author of the Socitm report, said: "It is wise not to make too many assumptions. The mobile user may be someone on the move, but they could also 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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