Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Obama's Government Web Site Changes Reduce User Satisfaction

Despite Obama's Web 2.0 efforts, e-user satisfaction slips

April 28, 2009 (Computerworld) Despite the Obama administration's efforts to update government Web sites, satisfaction with them has fallen for the first time in a year, a survey of 280,000 users of government Web sites found.

The average satisfaction level of users in the first quarter of 2009 dropped half a percentage point -- to 73.6% -- from the previous quarter's all-time high, according to a report from the University of Michigan and ForeSee Results, which tracks Web site satisfaction. The biggest drop in satisfaction -- 3% -- came in program sites, which are Web sites focused on federal government programs, rather than an agency. Two of the low-performing sites are Grants.gov, which is set up to help people find and apply for government grants, and the National Archives' database, which gives users access to immigration and military personnel records.

This decline comes on the heels of various updates that President Barack Obama's administration has put in place since he took office late in January.

On Obama's inauguration day, a major overhaul of WhiteHouse.gov was launched as the president was being sworn in. At noon that day, the president's official Web site appeared online with a new design that focused not just on the new administration but on new media. For example, it has a feature called The Briefing Room, where users can read the latest White House blog posts and even sign up for e-mail news updates.

Obama, who has already run an online town meeting and successfully fought to keep his Blackberry, is widely seen as the country's first tech-savvy president.

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