UK political parties' websites rank poorly as election looms

Much more work is required on key political sites if they are to effectively connect with the voters, say the findings of the Q1 2010 UK Government website index by website usability evaluator Sitemorse.

Working in partnership with marketing specialist Alterian, Sitemorse tested the functionality, accessibility, performance, email links, and metadata, of all websites deemed to be at the heart of the central government and politics, in order to ensure accountability and best practice online. When ranked against a range of government websites, of the three major political parties’ websites, only that of the Liberal Democrats (pictured) made it into the assessment’s top 50.

Additionally, its website was the most improved in terms of accessibility and performance, rising from 333rd place last quarter to 37th this quarter. Overall, the Conservative Party’s website ranked 187th ahead of Labour’s, which ranked 385th in Sitemorse’s evaluation this time.

Websites have become the first point of call for citizens looking for governmental service, argues Alterian CEO David Eldridge: “The website becomes the organisation’s representation of the quality of their services - as such, it is imperative to create a positive experience for website visitors,” he says.

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