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4.4 Tertiary Content

Information about the ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ content forms a part of the tertiary content. The guidelines for this type of content are given as follows:

4.4.1

About the site - this section should contain information about Department responsible for the contents as well as the maintenance of the site, purpose behind the development of the site, when was it launched, where is it hosted etc.

4.4.2

Navigation Aids Sections such as Help, Site Map, and Search (described in detail in the latter sections).

4.4.3

Terms and Conditions with respect to the usage of content on the site. This includes policies on Copyright, Privacy, Legal Implications etc. as well as Content Disclaimers. This has been explained in detail in the previous chapter.

4.4.4 ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ or FAQs

Although the content developers of websites make (and should make) all possible efforts to ensure that the content answers all possible and anticipated information needs of the citizens, it is sometimes not possible to address these completely. Visitors still have questions because either they couldn’t find what they were looking for or because it is presented in such a manner that it is difficult for them to comprehend or understand. In such a case, a detailed list of answers to common questions can prove highly useful to the website audience. Also, it has been proven by usability studies that information presented in a ‘questionanswer’ form is much easier for people to understand than lengthy write-ups.

Hence, Government websites, particularly the ones having frequent interaction with citizen for various services/schemes should have a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section linked from the Homepage and all other relevant places in the site.

The web information managers can compile the list of commonly asked queries and their answers through the following sources:

  • Emails, phone calls and letters from the public.
  • Survey conducted amongst the public.
  • Input from people who answer phones and mail in the organisation.
  • Review of website usage statistics and top search terms/items.

4.4.5 User Feedback

A commonly used method of receiving the feedback from the visitors of the site is through feedback forms or guest books. Feedback forms, with pre-decided fields, to be filled in by the visitors, enable a much more structured way of receiving feedback and hence make it easy to categorise or analyse the same. Forms are also quite useful for receiving grievances/complaints from the users in a structured and formatted manner. The information collected through feedback forms can also be used as a means of knowing the usage pattern of the website and can be used in the enhancement of future versions of the website.

  1. All feedback MUST be collected through online forms for reasons explained above.
  2. All feedback forms should be prominently displayed on the website.
  3. Departments MUST respond to the feedback explaining how it shall be processed.
  4. Departments should also make it clear on the response screen whether citizens should expect a reply on their feedback If ‘yes’ then in how many days.

4.4.6 Help

A special section ‘Help’ on the website MUST be created, which allows and guides for a pleasant experience while browsing the website. This category includes the kind of content which allows for an easy and convenient navigation for the visitor to the website (e.g. online help, how to open files of certain formats, how to access audio/video on the portal, kinds of plug-ins required etc.). Further, the content which clarifies the purpose of the website as well as its policies for the visitors should also be included in this category. Help should be linked from all pages of the website and should be displayed in a consistent location across the website.

4.4.7 Downloads and Plug-ins

  1. Information about downloadable material
    Downloading material from the Internet can be an expensive and timeconsuming exercise. Therefore, Government websites MUST provide Information that will help visitors determine whether they want to access downloadable material. This information would concern the following:
    • Self explanatory title of the document/file.
    • Download and use instructions (install, open, view).
    • File format and file size.
  2. Size of downloads to be minimised
    The total size of the file should be kept to a minimum to ensure acceptable download times for all users, especially those that do not have high-speed, reliable Internet connections.
  3. Virus Free Downloads
    Prior to making downloadable material available for visitors, Government websites should check for viruses and clear them.