CTIT University of Twente

2006-09 Desiging government portals

September 2006

Rob Klaassen, Joyce Karreman & Thea van der Geest

Desiging government portals around citizens' needs

Klaassen, R., Karreman, J. & Geest, Th. van der . (2006).  Desiging government portals around citizens' needs.  In: M.A. Wimmer et al. (Eds.) EGOV 2006, LNCS 4084, pp.  162 - 173 . Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.

Improving the usability of government portal sites requires a focus shift from system to user in both research and design. Empirical studies into user behavior are needed to support decisions on navigation, labeling and search systems. This paper presents such a study. Through scenario based interviews data were collected on citizens' information seeking needs and search strategies. Additionally, server logs files were analyzed. The results demonstrated the complexity of the search task from a user perspective, and provided suggestions for user friendly portal design. On the basis of the results it was recommended that portal sites' navigation systems should be context-rich, and labeling systems should be adapted to citizens' colloquial speech.