Wolverhampton City Council's website has been rewarded for improving the experience it offers customers visiting its website.

The site which is visited by 1.3 million people each year, has been awarded a 3 star rating by leading technology body SOCITM.

SOCITM - the Society of Information Technology Management (SOCITM) - is the professional body which represents people involved in the leadership and management of IT and public digital services.

Earlier this year, SOCITM reviewed 409  council websites across the country and gave them a rating of between 1 and 4 stars based on how easy they are for customers to use.

Wolverhampton City Council's website has seen its star rating go up from 1 star to 3 stars in just 2 years.

SOCITM assessors look at how easy it is for a customer to find the information they want on a council website, how easy it is to complete tasks and whether customers leave the site feeling that their question has been answered or problem solved.

Comments from the assessor who reviewed  Wolverhampton's site included: "This is a very modern site with a good task focus".

There was particular praise for the mobile version of the site - which can be viewed on smartphones and tablets - with the assessor concluding that it was a "lovely, easy experience on a mobile".

Emma Cleary, Wolverhampton City Council's web development manager, said: "We are thrilled to get the 3 star rating from SOCITM which is a nationally recognised standard and puts us up there with bigger cities like Birmingham and Manchester.

"Our rating has gone up from just 1 star over the past 2 years due to the significant improvements we've made to the site to enhance the customer experience.

"Everything we've done is based on what we know about how our customers use the site. We know that the most popular tasks are looking for jobs, school term dates, finding council housing and renewing library books - so we've made it really simple to find information such as these and other top tasks.

"We've also redesigned the site, launched a mobile version, dramatically reduced the number of pages and ensured what content is there is written clearly and concisely.

"Our aim now is to keep making the site better because we want the best 4 star rating."

The council's web team is always keen to hear any comments or suggestions for how people think the site can be improved, these can be emailed to webmaster@wolverhampton.gov.uk. People can even get involved in a website user testing group via: Type=links;Linkid=3267;Title=Website user testing group;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Wednesday 2 April, 2014