Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Why Government should avoid knee-jerk web development

A while back the Government designed a quiz on the Department of Work and Pensions website titled "Myths and Facts about Pensions in the UK". Bizarrely, in a resposne to a question about how many people had completed the quiz, the DWP minister James Purnell said that the site
"was designed to present information to users, rather than gather statistics on user views. Therefore the system did not record the number of people who completed the quiz, how far each user progressed or details of responses".
What's the point of having a quiz that you want the public to use for means of education if you're not going to record the level of education the public have in relation to pensions? It wouldn't be difficult to record the answers that were most often chosen, and that information would actually be quite useful.

Still, I don't want to dwell on that part of his answer, instead I want to crow amusingly at the extra detail he provided. You see, whilst he couldn't tell anyone how many people had completed the test, he could say how many people had accessed the quiz over the last six months.

Brace yourself. The Pensions Reform website quiz managed to receive a whopping average of 293 unique visit each month. That's around 9-10 unique hits each day. I wonder how much the development cost was for such wonders.

The Pensions Reform blog does slightly better, managing an average of 2470 unique vistors each month, just short of 100 days.

The truth be known this is just further evidence that the knee-jerk embrace of new media technology by Goevrnment can quite often be a waste of development time, effort, and more importantly money

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The truth is no one is interested in doing stupid on line surveys about welfare and pensions etc. They should stick to providing services on line, like filling in tax returns and what not. I am sure that service has been a huge success