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BEST UK LOCAL AUTHORITY WEBSITES ANNOUNCED

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Winners of the Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm)-Society of Public Information Networks (SPIN)-...
Winners of the Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm)-Society of Public Information Networks (SPIN)- Better Connected Website Awards 2003 have been announced.

The four awards - one each for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - go to the local authority website which is judged best able to meet the needs of the user.

The winners are: Maidstone BC, City of Edinburgh, Carmarthenshire CCand Newtownabbey BC.

The selection process began with the results of the Socitm Insight 'Better Connected 2003' survey - published in February 2003 - which surveyed every council site in the UK.

The best performing sites in the survey were then subjected to further evaluation in terms of:

- the ability of the site to meet the needs of a variety of different user groups

- the amount of site help and assistance provided to users

- the ability to undertake transactions and the comprehensiveness of what was provided

- the ability to download, easily understood documents in a variety of formats

- the ease of screen navigation and clarity of design

- the availability, comprehensiveness and clarity of the A-Z section

- the depth and clarity of the resulting information returned

- the usefulness of the search engine and the ease of 'findability' of information

- the extent to which the issues of accessibility was dealt with;

- a consideration of the general usability of the site

The judging committee commented that each region contained a number of a high quality sites offering an excellent user-experience, and that deciding on a winner in each region had been a difficult task.

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