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    Using Freedom of Information Requests to Understand Usability Problems with e-government Websites

    HCI 2017 - Digital make-believe

    Proceedings of the 31st International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2017)

    University of Sunderland, St Peter’s campus, Sunderland, UK, 3 - 6 July 2017


    Leonardo Sandoval-Guzman & Helen Petrie



    This paper investigates usability problems found in 14 UK council websites as described by citizens. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were used to collect messages about citizens’ interaction with these websites. Content analysis was used to categorise 713 usability problems found in 620 messages. 49 distinct problem categories grouped in 9 major categories were identified. Problems related to Content completeness (40.8%) and Interactive Functionalities (36.04%) were the most frequently reported. The implications of these findings for research and design of e-government websites, as well as the advantages and limitations of using FOI requests in usability research, are discussed.


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