Test results for Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

According to our records, this website last had a major update on 2018-08-23 - webteam members can update this information themselves.

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TaskNavigationA-ZGoogleSite searchReadabilityScoreTestsImportance
Address - change mine on council systems
Adult education courses - find information
Antisocial behaviour - complain about itUntestedGave upGave upUntested133
Blue badge - apply for oneUntestedVery easyVery easyEasy743
Broken street lights - report
Bulky waste or other special waste collection - book
Complain about something the council has doneUntestedUntestedDifficultUntested425
Council housing - apply for itUntestedGave upGave upUntested133
Council meeting - read the last full council minutes
Council news - find it
Council tax - pay it
Council tax / housing benefit - apply
Council tip - find a nearby one
Councillors - find who mine are
Cycling strategy - find it
Death - register oneDifficultGave upGave upEasy493
Economic condition and strategy for the area - find itDifficultDifficultDifficultEasy693
Elections - find out when the next ones are
Employment help for people with disabilities - find information on
Events - find council ones
Flood protection - find information
Food hygiene problem - report oneUntestedGave upGave upEasy343
Freedom of Information Act request - make oneUntestedGave upGave upVery hard143
Housing repair - request one
Jobs - find a council jobUntestedDifficultDifficultDifficult443
Leisure centres close to me - find one
Leisure discount card - apply for one
Library book - renewUntestedDifficultDifficultEasy543
Local history - find out about
Local library opening hours - find themUntestedUntestedGave upUntested113
Local services and information on a map - look at
Market stall trading - find information about
Meals on Wheels - find information
Missed bin collection - complain about oneUntestedGave upGave upEasy343
Noise nuisance - complain about it
Open Data - find some
Parking - find out how much it costs
Parking fine - pay oneUntestedEasyVery easyDifficult843
Petitions - create one
Planning application - comment on one
Planning committee meeting - find when the next one is
Planning or building control violation - report oneUntestedDifficultGave upEasy443
Planning permission - apply for it
Population and census information - find it
Pothole - report one
Public toilets - find them
Read the council's greenhouse gas emissions report for the previous year
Regulation of children on stage, film, and television - find informationUntestedGave upGave upUntested133
School places - apply for oneUntestedDifficultDifficultEasy443
School term dates - find themUntestedUntestedEasyUntested623
Scrutiny committee reports and minutes - find them
Senior staff and politicians in the council - find their names
Small business support - find information
Social media accounts - find themUntestedDifficultDifficultVery hard443
Stopping smoking services - find informationUntestedVery easyUntestedEasy633
Supplying the council - find out how
Sustainability and climate change - find information on
Taxi driver - complain about oneGave upGave upDifficultDifficult383
Taxi licence - apply for oneUntestedDifficultGave upUntested233
Telephone number - find the main oneUntestedVery easyVery easyEasy943
Trading Standards - complain about a dodgy item from a shopUntestedDifficultGave upDifficult343
Travellers - find information about them
Tree preservation order - apply for oneUntestedGave upGave upEasy343
Unitary Development Plan / Local Development Plan - find it
Voting - register toUntestedVery easyDifficultVery easy943
Vulnerable adult - express concern about one
Vulnerable child - express concern about one
Watch a webcast of a recent council or committee meeting
Welfare reform - find information about
Youth clubs in the area - find informationUntestedGave upGave upUntested133
TotalsNavigationA-ZGoogleSite searchReadabilityScoreTests 
Total scores7699387115380  
Number of tests283252821 105 
Usability Index (total score ÷ number of tests)334354  

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

Antisocial behaviour - complain about it
I knew to look for this under Housing, but I don't know if most people would know that. The page I navigated to was a very general page about ASB, which didn't contain any links to any reporting functionality. "Your search for report antisocial behaviour produced no results".

Complain about something the council has done
I didn't expect to have to register an account to make a comment to the council about their website.

Council housing - apply for it
Link from home page eventually took me to a separate site called Dudley At Home, which seemed to require me to log in in order to do anything. "Your search for apply for a council house produced no results" Following the top Google search result took me to the first page of the complete list of all the forms on the site. Going to the second Google result took me to a page inviting me to continue or amend my online application.

Death - register one
I think most people would look for Register Office rather than Registration Services; the Tell Us Once page resulted in a dead end, telling the user the service exists without giving the user the ability to Tell you! The Registering a Death page directed the user to phone up to make an appointment rather than offering an online appointment booking facility.

Death - register one
Finding the relevant page was easy enough, but to use the contact form I needed to create and login to an account - this is unacceptable.

Economic condition and strategy for the area - find it
It was very easy to find the page Economic Development Strategy in the A-Z, but that was a page which told the user to contact other agencies for more information.

Economic condition and strategy for the area - find it
I had to look under Regeneration to find the page with the document on. The internal search for 'economic strategy' took me to a page Economic Regeneration and Transportation which told me what the teams' responsibilities were, but without leading me to the information itself. The Google search for 'dudley economic strategy' took me to an entirely different page which said what the strategy was for, but without giving me a link to the document itself.

Food hygiene problem - report one
It was relatively easy to get to the relevant form (though as a 'resident' I wouldn't expect to have to click on 'business' to get to it, I just happened to see it because of the annoying navigation popup on mouseover), but then when I got to the form I discovered I have to register for an account. Big no-no from a usability perspective, but just as relevantly, what is the legal basis for you to force somebody to create an account in order to report a problem?

Freedom of Information Act request - make one
The page I navigated to had information on it about the various forms of FoI, but I couldn't find any links to actually make a request on the page.

Jobs - find a council job
It took me a while to twig that the big grey box was a link to WMJobs where the actual jobs are listed. I'm not sure what the blah text about Dudley being a unique and special place brought to the party, and all the latest news and what's on stuff below the big grey box was completely confusing. The top link on internal search was a press release about how 4,000 people have been put into jobs and training, it was link three before I got to the main jobs page.

Library book - renew
The link for Libraries in Dudley, on the Dudley Libraries page, is not obviously a link. The Dudley Libraries page is a completely redundant intermediate page.

Local library opening hours - find them
No results were found

Missed bin collection - complain about one
The page was easy enough to navigate to, but to report a missed collection it required me to create and login to an account. This is unacceptable usability practice, and potentially illegal.

Parking fine - pay one
The relevant pages are far too wordy.

Planning or building control violation - report one
I was able to navigate to a page called Types of Planning Enforcement Notices, but there was no link to any reporting functionality on that page. "Your search for report planning breach produced no results". A Google search took me to a page with a .pdf on it to print out and write by hand on and post back.

Regulation of children on stage, film, and television - find information
"Your search for children on stage produced no results"

School places - apply for one
Link to Apply Here from 1 October didn't work

School term dates - find them
Term dates were listed in numerical order starting 2016. Parents will expect to see the current school year first (ie 2018/19)

Social media accounts - find them
'Social Wall' as the name of the page is a bit brand-y, but at least should be clear enough. The page itself was an absolute mess. A search for 'social media' brought up far too many results none of which immediately looked relevant, but searching for 'social media accounts' at least produced more focused results.

Stopping smoking services - find information
Care and Health was all about Care, I couldn't see anything about Health. "Your search for stopping smoking services produced no results"

Taxi driver - complain about one
I did find the Dudley Taxi Advisor page which is a really good idea - it's a shame it was quite hard to find, though. It's also not clear if anything is done with feedback left through the Advisor.

Taxi driver - complain about one
"Your search for taxi driver complaint produced no results" Google search took me to a page which looked helpful, which took me to another page which looked helpful, which took me to page one of the complete list of forms on the site.

Taxi licence - apply for one
I was able to find an A-Z listing of licences issued by the council easy enough, but taxi licences weren't on it. "Your search for taxi licence produced no results". Google search took me to the pages with the long list of online forms, of which 'taxi licence' application didn't appear (although to be fair, 'private hire licence' did).

Tree preservation order - apply for one
I was able to navigate to a page about tree preservation orders easy enough, but there were no forms to request / apply for one. The nearest were some enquiry forms which required me to create and login to an account in order to complete - this is a complete usability no-no and may well be illegal.

Voting - register to
'Registering to vote' was the seventh result on an internal search for 'register to vote'.

Youth clubs in the area - find information
Internal search on "youth clubs" gave one result, a page called Road Safety Education, Training and Publicity. The Google result which looked like it might have been promising took me to a page with the message Oops! Something's not quite right. Please tell us what you were doing so we can fix the issue. If possible, please let us know the address of the page and the link that failed.