People’s trust in any government is directly proportional to how that government delivers the services it provides.
According to a 2017 Deloitte Report, 80% of public sector respondents said that a digital communication strategy was critical to the success of their municipality. 42% of these respondents, however, stated that their organization needed a clear and integrated digital strategy. Further, over 60% claimed their government agency was a late adopter or non-participant.
In today’s era, it is important to stay connected with the citizens digitally. A good citizen portal can elevate the trust and satisfaction among citizens while a basic or an outdated portal can bring in a lot of citizen dissatisfaction. While the features on a citizen portal might vary from county to county, the red flags are common for all.
9 Red Flags Signaling to Revamp Your Citizen Portal
- High Bounce Rate
Bounce rate shows how long visitors stay on your portal. If your portal has a bounce rate of over 50%, it means that 50% of your visitors leave without navigating to a different page on your portal.
There are many reasons for the high bounce rate:
- Bot traffic,
- Web design issues,
- Information architecture,
- Outdated information,
- Security issues, and more
Designing your citizen portal without user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) in mind will increase the bounce rate, signaling that it is time to redesign the Citizen Portal.
- Mobile Unfriendly Websites
Not having a mobile-first citizen portal is one of the most common problems with outdated citizen portals. Can online visitors access your citizen portal from any device? Otherwise, when mobile visitors come to your portal and cannot read it, they will quickly click and bounce from your site.
As per Statista
- In North America, monthly mobile data traffic per device reached 14.64 gigabytes (GB) in 2021.
- In the Middle East and Africa, that figure was 6.19 GB in the same year.
- According to the publication, the average monthly data traffic per device in Western Europe would reach 51.31 GB by 2027.
- Poor Site Health
Another frequent problem with outdated Citizen Portals is the high number of “pages not found” or other crawl errors. These errors can affect the health of your Citizen Portal. Such an issue could negatively impact the whole reason for having these portals in the first place.
- Poor User Experience
Modern Citizens are becoming more sophisticated and demanding. If your Citizen Portal does not provide the expected user experience, they will leave. This is one of the problems with outdated Citizen Portals. Plus, citizens do not want to be bombarded with detailed information. They prefer to read short, crisp and to the point updates in place of long and tedious paragraphs. Also, visual content makes the portal more appealing to citizens.
- Slow Page-Loading Speed
One of the most common problems with outdated Citizen Portals is their page load speed. Not only is a fast-loading site critical to your visitors, but Google considers page load speed a search ranking factor. This makes page speed optimization so important.
- Outdated Information on Portal
Another major problem with outdated Citizen Portals is basic neglect. Many governments make the mistake of launching a Citizen Portal and then quickly forget about it due to assorted reasons. That never works!
- Outdated Design Elements
One of the most common problems with outdated Citizen Portals is outdated design elements. These include page layouts with HTML table elements, splash or intro pages, or any pages that still use Flash. Hardly anyone uses these anymore because CSS is a more powerful design and development tool.
If your Citizen Portal contains any of these elements, and some Citizen Portals still contain them, it is time for you to have a new Citizen Portal! Outdated Citizen Portals are not mobile friendly, contain invalid HTML code, and are not suitable for SEO. They must go!
- Inability to Update Citizen Portal
The inability to make simple Citizen Portal updates is another widespread problem with outdated Citizen Portals. Do you need to contact (and pay) your web developer or programmer for every minor change on your Citizen Portal? That alone is why you need a better Citizen Portal!
It is strongly recommended that you use a content management system (CMS) to build and manage your Citizen Portal. This will allow you to update your content and make minor
tweaks to your Citizen Portal without knowing any code.
- Decreased Site Security
Risks and various dangers online can affect absolutely any project, even if it seems perfect. Security holes are vulnerabilities that expose your Citizen Portal to hacker attacks that can harm it.
The most common attack targets are platforms that generate leads and collect personal data. Please note that an outdated content management system is not capable of 100% protection against intruders.
Government websites/portals must be always accessible and from any device, and all departments must be able to share data easily. There is no way to interact with people being served without these capabilities.
Focusing on the above-mentioned points can create a significant difference in bringing in citizens on the portal and improve citizen engagement. Understanding all the risks and the requirements, CityCloud helps in designing an efficient and new generation citizen engagement platform that helps in taking citizen communication to the next level.