Statistics Canada's Website Evaluation 2010

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  • Website evaluation first conducted in 1997
  • Conducted annually until 2007
  • 2010: Focus on task completion
    • Now THE measure of a successful user-centric website
    • Fact-based

Research objectives

  • Measure success
    • Task completion based on primary purpose of “today’s” visit
    • Overall satisfaction with the website in general
  • Identify any significant changes to respondent profile
  • Identify priorities for improvement
  • Obtain feedback on two recent site changes: redesigned Home page and updated search function


  • Innovative intercept technology developed for the invitation
    • Deployed across the site
    • All visitors invited to participate
  • Short core questionnaire with optional content (search/Home page)
  • Launched April 8, 2010
    • Live for 15 days to April 23, 2010
    • Almost 10,000 respondents (versus slightly over 2000 in 2007)
    • Response rate: 3%

Results: Respondent profile

  • Occupation/Sector: Results similar to previous years – Education represents the largest sector, followed by government and business
  • New - Usage of mobile devices: Devices currently used to access websites in general (check all)
    • Most common way is still a desktop PC (72%)
    • Laptop/notebook (61%)
    • Mobile Phone/Smartphone/or similar device (15%)
      • Recent Visitor Pattern Analysis indicated that only 0.4% of visitors to the StatCan site used mobile devices

Findings: Frequency of visits

  • In 2010, infrequent visitors (62%) represented the majority of visitors

Findings: Information sought and planned use

  • Looking for data/tables on a specific topic (48%) and studies /articles/publications on a specific topic (16%)
    • The top topics of interest:
      • 4 Key Indicators (13%)
        (CPI annual inflation; Population estimate; Unemployment rate; Monthly GDP growth)
      • Health (9%)
      • Population/Demography (9%)
    • Half of respondents were looking for social statistics topics
  • How respondents were planning to use the information
    • For school assignment purposes (19%)
    • For academic purposes (16%)
    • For business development or analysis (13%)
    • For policy research, analysis and development (12%)

Findings: Task completion success

  • In 2010, 65% of respondents completed their task successfully…
  • …compared with only 55% who found All/Most of their information in 2007
  • Three-quarters of frequent visitors were successful in completing their task
  • The rate was highest for respondents looking for information in The Daily (86%)
  • The rate for respondents looking for census, aboriginal and demography statistics was 69%

Findings: Overall satisfaction

  • Overall satisfaction (65%) appears to have decreased since 2007

Findings: Optional questions

  • Home page used today (2,073)
    • Frequent visitors - 48%; Infrequent visitors – 52%
    • Of these, 59% of respondents found what they were looking for using new features – Analysts and researchers; Browse by key resource
  • Search function used today (2,029)
    • Frequent visitors –38%; Infrequent visitors – 62%
    • Of these, 49% succeeded in finding the information they were looking for using search
      • Of these, 48% found what they were looking for in the first 3 search results

Findings: Suggestions for improvement

  • Ease of access to data/information still ranks as the top priority for improvement

Summary of findings

  • Top three sectors are still education, government and business
  • Infrequent visitors represent a majority of respondents (62%)
  • 65% of respondents succeeded in completing their task
    • Of these, 71% found it easy to complete
  • Low completion rate when looking for information on:
    • Jobs at Statistics Canada
    • Specific topics:
      • Education, training and learning
      • Crime and justice
      • Health
      • Families, Households and Housing
  • Respondents’ top priorities for improvement:
    • Ease of access to data/information
    • Search
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