UK Government Online
In addition to multiple access media, ukonline.gov.uk will be available to citizens
through familiar channels such as Post Offices and Libraries. The channels will be
reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that citizens who do not have access to their
own PC or need assistance of intermediaries are able to engage with government
UK online staff finds the designing of a flexible delivery process very difficult,
especially because of the difficulties during the collection of demographic data and
needs assessment of their audience. "A major problem with a government website
is to ask people to provide you their information. People are very sceptical, very
suspicious for providing information to the government. We constantly need to use
carrots incentives ," said one of the staff from UK government Online. "When we
need to give them information about employment, we need to know how old they
are or whether they are employed. And they give us this and other information. But
there needs to be a reason to ask for information otherwise people tend not to give
it to you. You can try surveys of course with boxes that pop out, and ask would you
like to fill in this survey? but most users just get rid of it, because there is nothing
in it for them," said another staff member.
5.6. Conclusions and future visions
Regarding predictions for the dominant media online players in 2010, the staff
believes that "these are interesting questions but a little hard to answer. I think the
quality of service will become more and more important. Simple things also, like the
fact that people shouldn t be using passwords but instead finger prints or cards will
be really important."
And another member added, "In the distant future, government would have the
liberty to do better. I find it hard to say in five or ten years. Traditional media will
go to the web and from those I still think that the TV would be the most powerful.
I can t see the web replacing the traditional media services but I see it s becoming
more and more part of how they operate. I think we would be able to trade
government information alongside this in a way better than we do now."
For their own website, the UK online staff believes that for the future the most
important activity will be to provide their audience with the ability to "being able to
do things that you would do in the post office or at your council office. Getting
transactions online, so I don t need to spend my lunch hour in the post office. That s
a huge thing."
For the newsroom, "we would be looking at putting more video clips. Flash on text,
really designable. Localising the news would be another thing. Instead of saying this
is the 10 most important things in UK; to say this is the 10 for the country and 10 for
your region But what would be important is to know what people want," said the staff.
According to their document (http://www.e envoy.gov.uk/oee/OeE.nsf/sections/
resources pdfs/$file/ukonline_overview_reportV2.pdf), for the future the government
is working on a programme that accelerates the addition of new media and channels
to ukonline.gov.uk. Work has already started on Digital TV, WAP phones and kiosks
and this will continue until they have achieved universal and inclusive access for all
Furthermore, ukonline.gov.uk currently provides an extensive search and query
facility called Quickfind . Quickfind is an enriched search engine and provides