Test results for Newcastle City Council

According to our records, this website hasn't had a major update since it was first registered with us - webteam members can update this information themselves.

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TaskNavigationA-ZGoogleSite searchReadabilityScoreTestsImportance
Address - change mine on council systemsDifficultVery easyVery easyVery easy853
Adult education courses - find informationVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy10103
Antisocial behaviour - complain about itGave upGave upGave upVery easy353
Blue badge - apply for oneVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1050
Broken street lights - reportVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1053
Bulky waste or other special waste collection - bookVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1053
Complain about something the council has doneVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1053
Council housing - apply for itVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1051
Council meeting - read the last full council minutesEasyEasyEasyEasy853
Council news - find itGave upVery easyDifficultVery easy753
Council tax - pay itEasyEasyEasyEasy853
Council tax / housing benefit - applyVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1050
Council tip - find a nearby oneVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1053
Councillors - find who mine areVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1053
Cycling strategy - find itEasyVery easyDifficultVery easy7101
Death - register oneVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy953
Economic condition and strategy for the area - find it
Elections - find out when the next ones areGave upGave upGave upVery easy353
Employment help for people with disabilities - find information onEasyEasyEasyVery easy853
Events - find council onesVery easyVery easyEasyVery easy1053
Flood protection - find informationEasyEasyEasyVery easy853
Food hygiene problem - report oneDifficultEasyEasyUntested643
Freedom of Information Act request - make oneVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1053
Housing repair - request oneVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1050
Jobs - find a council jobVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1053
Leisure centres close to me - find oneEasyEasyEasyVery easy853
Leisure discount card - apply for oneEasyVery easyGave upVery easy753
Library book - renewVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1055
Local history - find out aboutVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy9103
Local library opening hours - find themVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1053
Local services and information on a map - look at
Market stall trading - find information about
Meals on Wheels - find informationVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy950
Missed bin collection - complain about oneVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1053
Noise nuisance - complain about itVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1053
Open Data - find someDifficultVery easyVery easyVery easy955
Parking - find out how much it costs
Parking fine - pay oneVery easyUntestedVery easyVery easy1043
Petitions - create one
Planning application - comment on one
Planning committee meeting - find when the next one is
Planning or building control violation - report oneEasyEasyVery easyVery easy953
Planning permission - apply for itVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1051
Population and census information - find itEasyEasyEasyEasy853
Pothole - report oneEasyEasyEasyVery easy853
Public toilets - find themGave upVery easyVery easyVery easy753
Read the council's greenhouse gas emissions report for the previous yearGave upDifficultVery easyUntested543
Regulation of children on stage, film, and television - find informationVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy850
School places - apply for oneEasyVery easyVery easyVery easy1050
School term dates - find themEasyVery easyVery easyVery easy1050
Scrutiny committee reports and minutes - find themEasyVery easyEasyEasy850
Senior staff and politicians in the council - find their namesVery easyUntestedVery easyUntested1033
Small business support - find informationVery easyVery easyVery easyVery easy1051
Social media accounts - find themGave upVery easyVery easyVery easy853
Stopping smoking services - find informationEasyVery easyVery easyVery easy950
Supplying the council - find out howEasyUntestedDifficultUntested730
Sustainability and climate change - find information onGave upEasyEasyVery easy753
Taxi driver - complain about oneGave upEasyGave upVery easy553
Taxi licence - apply for oneDifficultDifficultDifficultVery easy550
Telephone number - find the main oneGave upVery easyEasyVery easy853
Trading Standards - complain about a dodgy item from a shopGave upGave upGave upVery easy353
Travellers - find information about themGave upGave upGave upVery easy350
Tree preservation order - apply for one
Unitary Development Plan / Local Development Plan - find itGave upVery easyVery easyVery easy753
Voting - register toEasyVery easyEasyVery easy9103
Vulnerable adult - express concern about oneGave upVery easyVery easyVery easy853
Vulnerable child - express concern about oneVery easyUntestedEasyUntested933
Watch a webcast of a recent council or committee meetingVery easyEasyEasyVery easy951
Welfare reform - find information aboutEasyDifficultVery easyUntested881
Youth clubs in the area - find informationGave upDifficultDifficultVery easy550
TotalsNavigationA-ZGoogleSite searchReadabilityScoreTests 
Total scores4774344955055502461  
Number of tests6767636760 324 
Usability Index (total score ÷ number of tests)768898  

About the scores

Each task can be tested according to five different criteria - navigation from the home page, navigation using the A-Z directory (where present), searching on Google, searching using the site's internal search, and the readability of the page. Scores are assigned according to 10 = Very easy, 8 = Easy, 4 = Difficult, and 1 = Gave up. As more users complete any given test, the score for each aspect of each task becomes a mean average of all the individual testers scores, and thus the more tests are completed the more reliable an indication of the usability of the website can be seen. The total scores in the table are thus the sum of the averaged scores for the whole suite of tasks which have been tested.

The Usability Index is the sum of the scores of all the tests which have been carried out, divided by the number of tests which have been taken for this council, resulting in an index score between 1 and 10, with 6 being the score which a nominallly usable website with room for improvement might be expected to achieve. If any criteria have had fewer than 15 tests, or the site as a whole has had fewer than 50 individually tested items, the final Index scores are shown in a grey background to indicate insufficient testing for the result to be a reliable indicator.

The Importance column shows the mean average of how important all the testers considered the ability to complete this task to be, ranging from 0 = Unimportant to 5 = Very important.

Specific comments made about this council

Address - change mine on council systems
The main reason it was difficult is that the option to change your address is only available in relation to your council tax. If you were simply looking to update your address you may not think to look in the Council Tax section.

Council meeting - read the last full council minutes
The process is not very easy because it takes you out to an older part of the site which is styled differently and is not as readable.

Council tax - pay it
To pay you are taken to a part of the site that looks different and has a lot of information on it making it more difficult to read. Without this it would have probably been very easy.

Cycling strategy - find it
The flyout above the website search box is too trigger happy using a desktop and mouse

Death - register one
The relevant pages are found under 'Communities and Neighbourhoods which made it difficult to find when trying to navigate to find them.

Food hygiene problem - report one
Navigation and index searching was complicated by the fact you have to follow Environment and Waste to get to Environmental Health and Pest Control. I would have been more inclined to look under Social Care and Health or Report.

Local history - find out about
Took me three attempts before I found the correct category. Explore heritage wasn't a particularly helpful title when looking for local history. A-Z lacked the terms history or heritage.

Open Data - find some
In order to find open data using the A-Z index you had to look under Data Protection which would not necessarily be a natural place to look.

Population and census information - find it
You are lead out to a separate site that provides the relevant information which you have to read as PDFs.

Read the council's greenhouse gas emissions report for the previous year
The relevant information can be found under 'Environmental Policies and Strategy' which not only requires several clicks to get to but did not feel like the natural place to look. The results from Google returned earlier reports higher up the search results than the current report. The current report was titled 'Annual Greenhouse Report 2010-11' but when you click into the PDF it is the 2013-14 report

Scrutiny committee reports and minutes - find them
it would have been very easy to find them if it had not involved being taken to a part of the site that was branded differently and had a long list of links that were difficult to read.

Senior staff and politicians in the council - find their names
It was very easy to find councillors using the internal search. It was only easy to find senior staff using the internal and Google search as I knew the terminology we use within the council for those posts.

Social media accounts - find them
Although I gave up on the A-Z search the social media buttons were directly below the menu and in reality I would have used these.

Supplying the council - find out how
Very easy to find the relevant pages but made slightly more difficult by having to visit a number of external sites for further information. With the internal search and the Google search you can only find the relevant pages if you look for "doing business with the council" and not "supplying the council". It requires you to know the exact phrasing/terminology

Sustainability and climate change - find information on
When carrying out the internal search and google search "climate change" returned the relevant pages but "sustainability" didn't otherwise it would have been very easy

Taxi licence - apply for one
Takes you to a PDF form rather than being an online form

Telephone number - find the main one
Although I gave up on looking for contact details using the A-Z index in reality the main contact details appear in the footer of every page so I would be able to find them this way.

Vulnerable child - express concern about one
The internal search was easy to use but it requires you to use the correct terminology to find the right pages. The same applies for using Google.

Welfare reform - find information about
Using a Google search it wasn't possible to find the right pages using the same terms as the internal search i.e. welfare reform. However, if you rephrased it as "changes to benefits Newcastle City Council" then the pages could be found.

Welfare reform - find information about
Using a Google search it wasn't possible to find the right pages using the same terms as the internal search i.e. welfare reform. However, if you rephrased it as "changes to benefits Newcastle City Council" then the pages could be found.

Youth clubs in the area - find information
Eventually you get to a link for an external website but it is difficult to find