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SOCITM '4 star' Councils raise the bar on channel shift and the digital by default agenda with mobile ready innovation

Published Friday, 01 March 2013

Leicester, UK - 1st March 2013. SOCITM, The Society for Information Technology Managers has released its annual report on the UK’s Local Government website service delivery; ‘Better Connected 2013’ and has identified a number of key, leading authorities as best in class - or ‘4-star’.

The purpose of the 'Better Connected' report is to identify good practice in the development of local authority websites based on extensive evidence-based research. Many Jadu CMS powered authorities have been awarded the '4-star' status including City of Edinburgh Council, East Lothian Council, Hinckley and Bosworth Council, Midlothian Council, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, South Lanarkshire Council and Southwark Council.

Local Government has had a tough time in the last year, dealing with cuts to budgets and making it difficult for some authorities to innovate and demonstrate channel shift. Many have demonstrated innovation however, in the area of mobile apps for smartphones and touch / gesture based devices such as iPads and large format smart TVs.

Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience - easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling required - across a wide range of devices from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones and tablets.

South Lanarkshire Council, a newly awarded 4-star site have developed a 'responsive' design for their website and were also the first council in the UK to use the Weejot.com service from Jadu to power their mobile apps.

Weejot.com was launched in 2012 and has quickly become the market leader for mobile web apps in Government. The service was one of the first cloud based apps to be listed on the Government G-Cloud framework, with Suffolk County Council the first to purchase the service through the G-Cloud.

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council whose website was designed and developed by Jadu, significantly transformed their site last year, were also awarded 4 stars.

Oldham focused on content, from our customers' perspective as well as the top tasks that our customers need and want. We also deployed the Weejot.com mobile service providing quick and easy access to those top tasks.

says Gordon Lee, Digital Media Officer, Oldham Council.

SOCITM's reviewer described the Oldham Council site as having top tasks "introduced convincingly throughout the site and every entry point provides the same task journey... with landing pages [that] are beautifully presented and easy to scan."

Responsive web design and the mobile web is an area that SOCITM really needed to focus on more. We were really pleased that this year, mobile related technologies such as mobile web apps and responsive design have featured and we hope that this area of innovation will get much more visibility in Better Connected 2014.

Suraj Kika, CEO of Jadu.

The Better Connected report cites weejot.com as having an "...advantage to councils of delivering an app in this [weejot.com service] way is that it will work across different mobile platforms, and so there is no need to develop several different native versions. (Better Connected 2013, Page 112).    


We're really proud of all our Local Government customers, who have worked so hard to develop relevant, task-oriented content on their websites and mobile apps, it's important that those authorities are recognised for their hard innovative work against a backdrop of severe cuts to budgets and major council restructures - irrespective of rating.

says Suraj Kika

Of the top 20 sites reviewed in the report, four use the Jadu platform (City of Edinburgh Council, South Lanarkshire Council, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and Southwark Council).

City of Edinburgh Council has retained their 4-star status for the third consecutive year and 20% of all Local Authorities awarded the 4-star status use the Jadu CMS content management system, with 28 sites being cited as examples of good practice.

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