Ofsted’s website: continuing to improve
24 Apr 2012
The results of our website user satisfaction survey during January 2012 have helped us to make further improvements to the site (www.ofsted.gov.uk) since it was re-launched in July 2011. We received more than 600 responses and would like to thank everyone who took part in giving us some useful feedback.
What you told us
Overall, users said that:
• they found the design of the site appealing
• the navigation was straightforward
• the resources were valuable
• the search worked well.
However, a few issues were raised which we have sought to address. These were mainly that some users:
• found some of the text on the site a bit jargon-heavy.
• found certain resources difficult to locate.
• were confused as to why schools which had converted to academies were displayed as ‘closed’ and not linked to the new academy.
What we did
We are in the process of reviewing all copy on the site, to ensure it is as brief and clear as possible. We have also introduced a ‘hover-over’ glossary to explain what some of the technical terms mean.
We have introduced a new search facility on the website, with automatic search suggestions for popular terms and new icons to make it easier for visitors to choose the most relevant result – for example, an inspection report, a publication, or general content. We have added RSS feeds for all search terms. This will help users locate the resources, and other content, they want easier.
To solve the academy issue, our provider pages now show other providers at the same location, but excluding those where the address is hidden, such as children’s homes and childminders. Therefore, users can now link a closed school and a corresponding new academy.
What else is new?
You will notice that our homepage has changed and now has bigger and brighter images. We have added dropdown options to the main menu items across the top for quick access to information.
Our pages have a ‘more like this’ section to help users find related information. On our resources pages we have added dates to make it clearer when we have made changes to a publication.
We’ve incorporated 'thumbs up' and 'thumbs down' buttons on each page, making it easier for users to give their views and for us to see what others think of resources we publish. And there is now a quick way of printing web pages.
Our Good Practice case studies and supporting resources are now on a new section of our website at www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/goodpractice. This will help users and search engines to find them easier. They cover a range of examples of good practice carried out by schools and providers of social care, early years and childcare and learning and skills.
Regular email alerts
More than 35,000 people have registered for the ‘My Ofsted’ service on the website. They receive regular email updates and can tailor the type and frequency of information they receive. More than 31,000 are registered on Parent View, where they can rate their child’s school.
You can watch Ofsted films on our website pages or by downloading these to watch later. You can also view them through our dedicated YouTube channel, which has already received around 42,000 views.
Ofsted on Twitter
Ofsted’s Twitter account continues to grow too, with more than 6,700 followers. Tweets from the first Annual Social Care lecture on 1 February 2012 reached more than 7,000 people.
For more information, or to suggest future developments to the website, please use the feedback form in the contact us section of the website.