The ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) E-Gov Satisfaction Index Q4 2009 published today shows three government sites ahead of any other commercial site.
This would seem enough for e-gov enthusiasts to claim victory, as the ratings of some agency and departmental web sites are improving year over year.
However a closer look at this data reveals that:
- the top three sites are SSA Retirement Estimator, SSA iClaim and Free Application for Federal Student Aid
- no department portal or web site is in the top ranking
What this tells us is that when government has a compelling value proposition, people come and get what they expect. All private sector sites in the comparison provide a wide variety of services. The survey did not compare SSA iClaim with – say – Google search capabilities or Amazon book reviews. It would have also been interesting to see Google or Amazon compared to USA.gov or a state portal.
Another interesting finding from the report, which confirms the above, is that
Citizens continue to be most satisfied with program sites, which often have the advantage of providing more targeted information or functionality than broader department or agency sites.
More focus, less thrills and frills: this is the way to citizen satisfaction.
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An interesting point Andrea, however the key for me is the light that using citizen satisfaction sheds on process. As you say focussing on the citizen’s needs brings satisfaction, this includes keeping it clean.
DirectGov, as a portal in the UK, has vastly improved by not duplicating content from the source sites. Now all we need is the source sites to clear all the superfluous crap off and serve the citizen.