Monday 4 July 2011

Consultation and usability testing

We have begun the programme of consultation and usability testing and worked with some students from St Loyes college in Exeter who very kindly gave up some of their time last month to test our sites. Our web designers used the forms listed below and monitored students usage, making notes, while the students answered the questions and completed the usability test.
The results of these tests can be viewed in the spreadsheets below.
We would like to thank St Loyes for their help and time which really does make a difference and helps us greatly to improve our future online services. Their help will enable us to incorporate their user experiences into the conceptualization, design and development process and will help to provide an enhanced user friendly experience for all future site users.
Our request for feedback from members of the public and internal staff has been very low so a more prominent link has been placed on the homepage of the website (at the top of the site in a banner advert) to hopefully generate more interest and prompt you to give us your important views and ideas.
We did have a request through our call center asking:
‘Could we please include the email address on the homepage?’
The caller did not want to complete the general enquiry form but did want to email the force but it is not good practice to show direct email addresses on your site which leaves you very much open to a significant level of spam emails. It was explained that the forms are there to try and reduce the number of spam emails, but the caller was insistent that they wanted the choice.
This feedback is really useful and will enable us to examine how we can make our processes as easy to use as possible for our users, improving our online services and giving us a better understanding of what people want and how they use the site.
We are also planning to visit our local neighbourhood teams throughout Devon and Cornwall to seek their views on their use of the site. Your local teams are responsible for adding their own localised content and we will report back with these results as soon as we have spoken with them.
If you have any views on the information you would like to see on your local policing team pages or anything else web related please feel free to post a comment and we look forward to updating you on the latest progress in our next blog.

The development and design process for the next version of the Devon & Cornwall Police Website


The digital media team is now in the process of conceptualising a new version of the force website to allow us to engage with you more effectively (and locally) and offer a more efficient and personalized service to our communities.

We would like to

  1. Integrate the Local policing (Neighbourhood) site and the main Force website.
  2. Integrate the Online Crime Reporting form with a personalized login to enable the tracking of the investigation’s progress.
  3. Introduce a home hub landing page with various user group specific doorways into the site.
    1. Report a crime / lost or found
    2. Youth
    3. News
    4. Traffic incidents / road conditions
    5. Bumblebee – auction site
    6. Postcode login – to filter content local to you – news, appeals, campaigns, traffic incidents and crime figures (Facebook, Twitter)?
    7. And access to all unfiltered information the website
  4. Introduce a postcode generated personalized homepage using cookies to remember your preferences possibly incorporating shortcuts to pages selected by the user.
  5. Provide an emailed pdf newsletter of the local policing team pages.
These are just some of the ideas we have in the melting pot but first we thought we would get your thoughts on our current site to make sure we keep your favourite features whilst adding some new developments.

We have started a programme of consultation and usability testing and include links to the forms below if you would like to get involved in shaping our future online communications.

We have also created some questionnaires along with snap poll questions, which we plan to place on Facebook, our main site and some of our sub sites.

The intention of this blog is to start a conversation with the people of Devon & Cornwall about the Devon & Cornwall Police website and how we can improve it.

Please feel free to take a look at the questionnaire/s and complete, one, some or even all (!) if you have the time.

If questionnaires are not your thing please just post a comment we would love to hear about the things you like/dislike, how you access the site, where and for what reason. Tell us how the site could work better for you and if you have any ideas for new features you’d like to see. We will review all your comments with a view to including them in a specification document made available on this blog in the future (although please note we do not have a huge budget and will be using our in-house skills).

Initially we aim to post updates at least once a month and as the consultation progresses we would like to post details and jpegs of designs for your thoughts and opinion. Further down the line we would also like to include links to mini test sites and even possibly a beta site for you to try and break!

Thank you for reading our first post and please feel free to submit a reply to this post to get the conversation going as we are really looking forward to hearing your views and engaging with you.