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Website User Study
Website User’s Study released at UEDA conference
(July 2008) Chabin president Audrey Taylor and Don Schjeldahl of Austin Consulting presented the results of the Website User’s Study 2008: Economic Development Websites at the Utility Economic Development Association (UEDA) Summer Forum on July 24.
A joint effort of Chabin, Austin Consulting, and FirstEnergy of Ohio, the two-part study included a survey of economic development users, as well as a user testing component in which site selectors were observed performing “real world” tasks on economic development sites.
Moving beyond simply ranking site selection factors, the study explored issues such as technology adaptation, attitudes toward special functions such as GIS mapping and videos, and how the audience actually uses the data they find on websites.
Among their findings
  • Out-of-date content is the biggest frustration.
  • 57% preferred to obtain utility rates online vs. 37% by personal contact.
  • 80% said they were somewhat or very likely to use an incentives calculator.
  • Less than a third found property listings “complete” or “up-to-date.”
  • 70% had viewed a website from a handheld device for work-related information.

The study focused most heavily on issues related to economic development content, but also explored functionality, navigation, formatting, and search habits
A free executive summary of the results is available now. The full report, which includes more user comments and interpretation of the results, will be offered for sale within the next month.

[More about Website User Study]
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