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Local government website usability on mobile devices: test results and recommendations

Karol Król (Department of Land Management and Landscape Architecture, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Kraków, Poland)
Dariusz Zdonek (Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland)

Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance

ISSN: 2398-5038

Article publication date: 18 June 2021

Issue publication date: 12 August 2021

248

Abstract

Purpose

The range of official business that can be handled online has grown in the recent decade. In many cases, e-services are a must. At the same time, the economic impact and social importance of mobile technology have increased. Mobile devices are becoming more and more popular, and their applications diversify. It comes as no surprise that mobile users expect e-services and official information to be available through this channel. The purpose of this paper is to identify problems (difficulties) occurring when browsing websites of local government units (LGU) on mobile devices.

Design/methodology/approach

The comfort of website browsing depends mostly on the development technique, and the way content is published. Responsive websites are much easier to view on mobile devices than “static” ones. The study involves 400 websites of LGU in Poland. The websites were subjected to quantitative and qualitative analyses with selected techniques and computer tools.

Findings

The set of 400 websites contained 119 (29.75%) that were not responsive. It exhibited a substantial potential for the optimisation of websites for mobile devices. The study revealed the most common usability failures such as distorted images, “scattered icons”, partial responsiveness and bothersome messages in pop-ups.

Originality/value

The research identified the most widespread problems with the tested websites. The study yielded recommendations for local governments, which may be useful when managing content, upgrading the website or replacing it with a new one.

Keywords

Citation

Król, K. and Zdonek, D. (2021), "Local government website usability on mobile devices: test results and recommendations", Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 173-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPRG-05-2020-0065

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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