Better Connected changes for 2016-17: overview and scoring details

Better Connected reviewers met on 20 September to review last year's survey round and plan for 2016-17.

In 2015-16 we introduced many changes. Most important was that we moved to publishing results and reports online. We also made much more information about the BC results public for all councils and started running and reporting surveys over a period of months, rather than just having the one big reveal on 1 March.

Better Connected Live was launched, catering for a wide range of professionals including transformation and service leads, and customer service, web and digital specialists. This proved to be a highly productive mix and the event will be back, bigger and even better 27/28 June 2017.

More significant changes are on the way.

First, we will be adjusting some key aspects of BC scoring.

We will be removing the task promotion assessment question at the end of the task surveys on the basis that this now carries disproportionate weight in service-based task scores overall. Instead, we will add a new ‘yes/no’ question: ‘Do all of the above routes lead to a consistent destination?'. This will follow the standard questions that appear in all task-based surveys ie:

    Does the home page link me directly to the task?
    Does the service landing page link me directly to this task?
    Does a search for the task description return the correct result listed in the first five results?
    Does the A to Z list include this task?

For the 20% or so of councils anxious about the inclusion of an A-Z question in the above set, not having an A-Z will not be a handicap since the question will simply be ignored for those councils in the score aggregation.

We will be changing the scoring scale on the customer journey/task completion question from a 0-3 to a 0-4 scale. This better matches the 0-4* ranking now used for individual surveys (with the exception of the accessibility survey which for the time being remains as a 0-3 score).

The additional point in the scale will enable finer tuning of this vital part of the assessment. How we define the different ranks on this scale are as follows (we will be publishing this information along with other scoring data):

0 – not found

1 – poor: may include a significant error preventing completion

2 – unsatisfactory: reviewer unable to complete task fully or it took unacceptably long to complete

3 – satisfactory: possible to complete but room for improvement

4 – good: faults (if any) are minor

Our second significant change concerns the navigation questions within the search/navigation/A-Z question sets, and also the mobile question sets.

We are not going to reveal exactly what the changes are at this stage but emphasis will be on the findability of tasks – some of which may not be ‘top’ tasks. The mobile tests will be looking at findability, usability, absence of errors and whether the whole site is purposed for mobile rather than reverting to desktop for some tasks.

Third, we are discussing changes to the accessibility testing with Digital Accessibility Centre, and although are not yet in a position to provide details, we will be soon.

Fourth, we will be publishing a post here with some guidance on poor practices that continue to be seen and that Better Connected reviewers will mark down. These include instances where site users are required to login when this is not necessary; the way top tasks are presented; key aspects of navigation; mobile presentation; and so on.

Finally. and details will be in my next post, we are going to be introducing paid for BC reviews.

These will enable councils that have made improvements to their website since Better Connected overall results were published, to get this recognised in the scores published on this site.

We probably wouldn’t even have considered making such a change had it not been requested on several different occasions by Better Connected subscribers wishing to have the opportunity to have BC scores upgraded where they have made genuine improvements following the original assessment

This blog was first posted on the Better Connected website at


Security level: Public

More Blog Entries

Why digital inclusion features large at Better Connected Live

Better Connected Live - Birmingham May 24/25 - is bringing together top management, service...

ADASS Care Apps conference: online showcase available now

The ADASS Care Apps showcase event was oversubscribed when first staged in October 2015, with...