Headlines: April 29th, 2005

Local authorities are being offered a new service to help increase the take up of information and services that they deliver through their websites. ClickThrough has been developed by public sector communications specialists Boilerhouse Communications.The company says the launch comes at a time when councils and other public service organisations are under pressure to increase website take-up, largely so they can benefit from the efficiency gains available when citizens and businesses are self-servicing’ their needs rather than using the telephone, letters or face to face contact, which are more expensive.

The ClickThrough team, made up from web design, usability and marketing specialists, will work alongside a council’s own web, communications and service delivery staff to measure and analyse site usage, to improve the usability of sites and to create and deliver effective marketing of web-delivered services. Boilerhouse Communications itself has worked with a number of local authorities and on national e-government projects.

The new system has been designed to complement existing services like the Socitm Insight Website Take-up Service and products being developed from the e-Citizen National Project.

Boilerhouse managing director Vicky Sargent said, “‘Improving performance on website take-up and being able to demonstrate improvements, is not always easy. It is important to have meaningful statistical information about website usage, to know how usage is affected by the way services are presented, and to be able to develop promotional activity that will persuade target audiences to start interacting with councils via their websites.”