Valentine’s Day is a great day (but shouldn’t be the only day) for local governments to show love to their communities. Say “I love you” with a usable website that makes it easy for residents to find the information they seek. It’s as easy as LOVE!
When you’ve worked with local government IT and communications leaders every day for more than 20 years, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict the major trends that will impact local government in 2017.
Digital accessibility is important for many reasons. How would you access the Internet if you had difficulty seeing your computer screen, strained to hear sound, or had trouble using a keyboard or a mouse? In the U.S. today, 1 in 5 citizens has a disability and many struggle to visit their local government websites to pay utility bills, register children for Parks and Rec programs, and weigh in on community issues.
Have you ever encountered a website that was difficult to use or navigate? Or a time when you were stopped from completing a task on a website because nothing made any sense? Of course you have, because the Internet is littered with poorly designed websites. The good news is that the trend towards analyzing what users want and incorporating usability into web design is here to stay. But there is still a lot of progress to be made.
Digital technology has created amazing opportunities for communicating, sharing information and engaging with your community. But users of digital technology have different needs and as many as 20% of your users may have a disability that prevents them from fully accessing all that your website offers.
Citizens Online is a UK-based charity that was set up to tackle the issues of digital inclusion, to make sure that the Internet is available to everybody and to help individuals and communities understand and gain the benefits of being online.