Statistics Canada’s Website Evaluation 2012

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Consultation objectives

In May 2012, Statistics Canada conducted an evaluation of its website to seek feedback from visitors on a number of topics, including

  • task completion success rates
  • overall satisfaction with the website.

Consultation methodology

Statistics Canada used an intercept technology deployed across the website to invite visitors to participate by completing a short questionnaire.

More than 8,400 visitors participated over a period of 17 days from May 10 to 28, 2012.

How to get involved

This consultation is now closed.

Individuals who wish to obtain more information or to take part in a consultation should contact Statistics Canada through the Statistical Information Service.


Overall satisfaction

In 2012, 68% of consultation participants expressed overall satisfaction. This rate has been relatively stable over the last three years.

Information sought and planned use

Consultation results show that 49% of visitors were looking mostly for data and data tables on a specific topic, while 16% searched for studies, articles or publications on a specific topic.

Among participants, 47% were looking for social statistics, 30% for economic statistics and 22% for census, aboriginal and demographic statistics. The top three topics of interest were: population/demography (16%), health (10%) and labour (8%).

Participants planned to use the information primarily for

  • academic purposes and school assignments (26%)
  • personal interest (20%)
  • policy research, development, analysis and/or evaluation (12%)
  • economic/financial research, analysis and planning (8%)
  • business development or analysis (8%)

Task completion success

In 2012, 70% of participants completed their task successfully, up from 65% in 2010.

About 78% of frequent visitors (those who visited the website six or more times in the last six months) were successful in completing their task, while 68% of infrequent visitors (those who visited the website fewer than six times in the last six months) were successful. The success rate was highest for participants looking for information in The Daily (89%).

Participants in government or the public sector (76%), education field (74%) and non-government or not-for-profit (73%) had the most success in finding information.

Among successful participants, 77% took less than five minutes to find the information they were seeking and 74% reported that finding information was easy.

In 2012, 39% of unsuccessful participants were looking for information that was available on the website, but were unable to find it, while 30% reported looking for information that was not available on the website (including not yet released 2011 Census data). Another 27% reported technical problems such as broken links and a webpage that was “not available.” And, 4% of participants indicated information that was available as custom tabulations but not actually on the website.

Areas of improvement

Ease of access to data (navigation and search) and website content (information availability) remain areas for improvement.

Consultation participant profile

Participants came principally from three main sectors: government (21%), business (23%) and education (35%), similar to visitors in previous years. Among participants, 60% were infrequent visitors. Students were the top respondents (26%), followed by business or private sector (23%) and government or public sector (21%).

Participants accessed the website through a variety of methods. The most popular was Google (54%). A link in an email (11%), the use of bookmarks or favourites (11%) and a link from another website (10%) were the next most frequently used methods.

Participants were also asked to indicate which methods they most often used to access the website: 68% reported accessing the website via a desktop, 46% used a laptop or notebook and 10% used an iPad, tablet, netbook or other small screen device. Although still relatively small, the proportion of participants using tablets and small screen devices to access the website is growing.

Statistics Canada thanks participants for their participation in this consultation. Their insights guide the Agency’s web development and ensure that the final products meet users’ expectations.

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