Wednesday, May 26, 2004

BBC news say Doubts cloud e-government sites, due to people wanting immediate feedback on questions (from a real person), rather than just information bunged up on a site. Guess the question they (we) should be asking is "what do people want to contact their council/government for?"

A completely assumed presumption leading to a poor analogy: On-line grocery shopping has failed. People like to see what they're buying* in the same way that people like immediate feedback for questions. Therefore, staff of public organisation are like fruit and veg.

* Ironically, this is less important when buying mass-produced, "standard", packaged goods. Is a drive towards more healthy eating actually at odds with shopping remotely? (Assuming that supermarkets don't just artifically make all their food pretty while quality suffers. Like they do now.)

Conclusions: Use technology to help people talk to each other, not just to provide a sea of information - bunging a load of pages up on-line isn't an "interface" to the information in them. Search engines still suck compared to a human who knows about everything.

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