Dubai e-Gov will live or die by its “usability”

Salem Al Shair, Director e-Services, Dubai e-Government, has called for greater emphasis to be placed on user-friendly websites, as critical to the success of government portals.

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By  Justin Etheridge Published  December 26, 2002

Only user-friendly government websites will achieve the primary objective of “easing the lives of citizens interacting with the government”, stated Salem Al Shair, Director e-Services, Dubai e-Government, while delivering the keynote address at the Web Usability seminar held at the Dusit Hotel in Dubai.

The seminar, attended by over 100 representatives from various government departments, focused on the challenges faced by government websites offering e-Services, and such topics as e-Government & Services Website Usability, Usability Fundamentals and Information Architecture Analysis and Website Design Guidelines.

“The success of a website depends extensively on the ease and efficiency with which a user can access information and interact with it. This is particularly true of government websites where the focus should be on providing users with the most efficient interface to meet their specific information needs,” said Al Shair.

“Clear, consistent and easily navigable websites that are flexible without creating confusing results are the ideal answers and in order to devise this, web developers and usability analysts need to work together to leverage their joint expertise.”

“Dubai e-Government is always on the lookout for opportunities to improve and enhance the quality of the government websites and hence the need for such a seminar. We are trying to take extensive precautions to ensure that the Dubai e-Government portal avoids the pitfalls of poor usability and presents to its customers a well-designed web site,” he added.

Recounting Dubai e-Government’s experiences and goals, Al Shair said: “e-governance has become an essential component of today’s web-ruled world. No country can afford to ignore e-Governance and citizens would certainly prefer to use high tech modes of public transaction when the whole world is moving towards automation.

“Guided by the primary goal of easing the lives of community and businesses by creating a one-stop portal, Dubai e-Government is now in the advanced stages of providing an integrated, interactive and online transaction-ready services across the board.”

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