Title: Making usability affordable in the design of e-government services: User-Centred Design for public sector websites

Authors: Amina Tariq

Addresses: FAST School of Business, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Pakistan

Abstract: E-government provides a platform for governments to implement web-enabled services that facilitate communication between citizens and the government. However, technology-driven design approach and limited understanding of citizens| requirements have led to a number of critical usability problems on the government websites. Hitherto, there has been no systematic attempt to analyse the way in which theory of User-Centred Design (UCD) can contribute to address the usability issues of government websites. This research seeks to fill this gap by synthesising perspectives drawn from the study of UCD and examining them based on the empirical data derived from case study of the Scottish Executive (SE) website. The research employs a qualitative approach in the collection and analysis of data. The triangulated analysis of the findings reveals that e-government web designers take commercial development approach and focus only on technical implementations, which lead to websites that do not meet citizens| expectations. The research identifies that e-government practitioners can overcome web usability issues by transferring the theory of UCD to practice.

Keywords: websites; e-government practitioners; electronic government; internet; world wide web; UCD; user-centred design; usability; affordability; public sector; web-enabled services; communication; citizens; technology-driven design; Scottish Executive; Scotland; UK; United Kingdom; data collection; triangulated analysis; web designers; commercial development; technical implementation; user expectations; electronic governance; e-governance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEG.2010.036901

International Journal of Electronic Governance, 2010 Vol.3 No.3, pp.254 - 272

Available online: 15 Nov 2010 *

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