Elections - 'We the council'

If you’re not involved in local government, you probably missed the fact it was local elections this week (after all the turnout was only 30%). It’s one of the few times in the year that a council has a clear idea of what the website’s users probably want. On election day, liverpool.gov.uk got 30% more site visitors. On the Friday, traffic was double a normal day, and 35% of traffic went to the results section of the site.

[caption id=”attachment_395” align=”aligncenter” width=”651” caption=”Site traffic for election week compared to an average week.”]

On Thursday, I did a non-scientific survey of other council sites, just to see how they were dealing with the day. I wasn’t looking for problems, I was just curious. It was quite interesting so I put it into a presentation

The thing that struck me most about this selection, was the number of sites that were just doing what the council felt it had to do, rather than what the residents of the council might want it to do. I do agree, a notice of election is a vital part of the democratic process, but it’s not really the best way to list the candidates for an election, is it? And, yes, you have a list of polling stations, but again, you can’t just turn up at any polling station, so the information is useless to someone, unless you tell them where their polling station is.

On the train home, I also did a mobile version of the non-sicentifc study. I will let you explore the Google+ images of that one. It really doesn’t tell you anything more than that most councils are neglecting ~20% of their site users by not providing a mobile version of their site.