Online Feedback Forms used on the Vienna City Administration’s E-Government Website.
The promotion of e-government services has been a strategic priority within the Vienna City Administration for many years now and has also received the relevant political commitment. Due to its unique position as federal province, federal capital, city and municipality the range of tasks performed by Vienna is much wider than that of other administrative authorities in Austria. This fact is also reflected in the range of e-government services provided.
The Internet services offered by the Vienna City Administration at www.wien.gv.at currently comprise some 130,000 webpages. According to statistics published by the independent Austrian web analysis agency (Österreichischen Webanalyse, ÖWA, www.oewa.at), on average some 880,000 individuals visit these pages some 12 million times every month.
The e-government services at www.wien.gv.at include more than 600 help pages that assist citizens in dealing with the authorities and inform users in a standardized format about administrative procedures and authorities, giving details of documents required, competences, deadlines, fees etc. These webpages describe processes and procedures, facilitate dealing with authorities and enable users to conduct transactions electronically. Such additional online procedures are made available on the Internet for more than 180 administrative processes and procedures and further around 80 forms. Every month some 200,000 citizens use the e-government services provided by the Vienna City Administration.
In order to fulfill its administrative goals the Vienna City Administration regularly checks whether the e-government applications can be used intuitively by all target groups, ensuring that online forms are designed in such a way that citizens and business users can fill them out without any special training.
Thus regular checks are performed to determine whether e-government services are actually being made available in the best possible form. The questions to be answered include:
* Is it easy to find the Vienna City Administration’s e-government info pages and services?
* Are online services and information given clearly structured, easily understandable and complete?
* What are the barriers to using these services, for instance: how often, where and when do users stop or quit when filling out an online form?
* Are there any barriers that might prevent or even exclude entire groups of citizens from using these services?
Personal contact with website users is a very useful approach to gain feedback on user behavior and user information requirements. Considering the wide range of e-government services provided by the Vienna City Administration this is, however, only possible to a limited extent.
Against this background, the Vienna City Administration initiated a project under which online feedback forms were added to the entire range of e-government services delivered. This comprehensive introduction of online feedback forms is an important element under the newly defined Ongoing Improvement Process (KVP, kontinuierlicher Verbesserungsprozess) aimed at the sustainable optimization of the e-government services delivered by the Vienna City Administration.