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What do we know about the users of

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Continuous iteration, Start with user needs


We collect both quantitative (Google analytics) and qualitative (user survey) data on a regular basis about and from users of the Parliament website. This helps inform our plans and ideas so that we can develop information and services in line with user needs.

Headline statistics for March

March 2014 saw visitor numbers rise again, about a 25% increase on the same month last year:

  • 2.3m visits
  • 1.7m unique visitors
  • Looking at 6.4m pages

What our visitors are interested in looking at has remained fairly consistent and in March the most popular sections of the site were:

  • Hansard – Commons 11%, Lords 3%
  • Committees – 10%
  • Information about members – 5% of visits
  • Video – 5%

Two committees in particular saw a lot of traffic; the Commons Health Committee inquiry into Children's and adolescent mental health attracted 5498 page views and the Lords inquiry the House of Lords Committee established to scrutinise how the Mental Health Capacity Act is working attracted 5015 page views.

Where do website visitors come from and what are they looking for?

The majority of our website visitors come straight from Google – 47% during March.

The top 25 search terms were:

  • parliament
  • hansard
  • big ben
  • house of lords
  • house of commons
  • houses of parliament
  • uk parliament
  • parliament uk
  • parliament tv
  • care bill
  • children and families bill
  • public accounts committee
  • who is my mp
  • house of parliament
  • houses of parliament tours
  • palace of westminster
  • find my mp
  • british parliament
  • home affairs select committee
  • budget 2014
  • mp for a week

What devices are they using?

During March about 20% of our users were using tablet or smartphone devices with the remainder using a desktop computer.

Monthly survey

We also run a survey on our website every month ( and have been doing so for more than 6 years now) asking users about their visit, in particular satisfaction and findability. The survey provides us with some really rich data direct from users about what they're looking for and the problems they encounter with the website. The most recent survey results (March) showed that:

  • Overall 79% of users were satisfied or very satisfied
  • 59% of users were able to find what they were looking for
  • 79% of users judged content to be good or very good

Other highlights included:

  • Audience types were spread across all choices, the largest being “A member of the public”, which accounted for 36% of all responses. The second largest was “A student” at 31%. These have remained the top two audience types responding to the survey from July 2011 to now.
  • “Information about Bills and Legislation”, “Information about MPs and Lords” and “Visiting information” were the most sought categories of information this month, all at 12% each.
  • “How to arrange a tour” is still the most common response (42%) to the question; “What in particular were you looking for regarding visitor information”, this is closely followed by “Dates for tours” (34%).
  • "Progress of a bill" was still the most common response (49%) to the question; "What in particular were you looking for regarding information on Bills and legislation?" and "Text of a bill" was the second most common response (21%).
  • “Biographical information” was the most common response (37%) to the question; “What in particular were you looking for regarding information about MPs and Lords” with “Other” being second most common (34%).
  • 59% of all respondents said that they had found what they were looking for, with 28% stating "partially" and 13% stating "No".
  • “Browsing for general interest” has had the most significant increase in task success this month (+15% since February). “Employment opportunities” came in second with an 11% increase in task success.
  • “To contact my MP” had the most significant increase in task failure (-10% since February).

We'll be aiming to share similar data about our users on a monthly basis from now on  - if there's anything particular you'd like to see then let me know.

Tracy Green
Head of Online Services - UKParliament

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  1. Comment by What do we know about users of | ONS digital publishing posted on

    […] by last month’s What do we know about the users of we thought we would give you an insight to our own users and how their interaction with us is […]

  2. Comment by Catherine Hardman posted on

    nice blog :o)