Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why Is Website Evaluation Important?

A website costs money. In most cases, government websites are paid for with tax dollars. The public trusts us to make sure their tax dollars are well spent. It’s your job, as a government web manager, to make sure your website is written and designed well, that visitors can use it easily, that it’s accurate, and that it’s contributing to the achievement of your agency’s mission. You need to evaluate and test your website routinely to make it more efficient, appropriate, and useful to your visitors.

The best way to improve the effectiveness of a Web site is to have data that indicates how it’s performing. Many measures can be used to improve your website. Web managers no longer need to rely on conjecture, opinions, hunches, personal preferences, or other subjective information. Decisions can be based on data and research.

Specific Policy, Legal or Other Requirements for Doing This

Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s the law:
  • The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requires your agency to establish performance measures to show how you’re achieving your mission. Your agency website should be an integral part of that plan.
  • OMB Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites (OMB M-05-04) and the related OMB Circular A-130 also refer to measuring satisfaction and performance.
  • The Interagency Committee on Government Information (ICGI) recommended that agencies measure customer satisfaction and usability in its June 2004 report to OMB, "Recommended Policies and Guidelines for Federal Public Websites".


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