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Shocking ROI for short term goverment site

PlayspaceHere’s a great example of a how not to go about creating a successful short term micro site.

The department for Children, Schools and families developed an interactive website aimed at encouraging children and “young people” to feedback their ideas and requirements for play spaces. The resulting website can be found at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/playspace/

Apparantly the website cost £50,000 +VAT to develop, is due to close in August this year and has recieved just under 10,000 visitors since launch. That’s an approximate cost per visitor of £6. The source of these details can be read House of Commons Publications and Records website.

I wonder if the developers of the site were wearing a mask when they asked for their £50K? The site is built poorly failing validation for W3C guidlines and accessibility checks and the application is dull and completely unrewarding for the user.

Perhaps if they had spent some of the budget on marketing the application and engaging with a company with a proven track record of developing engaging content for children they might have been more successful.

Still, it’s only tax payers money isn’t it? and they’ll probably double the amount of visitors in the next week due to all the bad press it’ll get for failing. Well done!

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  • Katrina Gallagher

    That’s shocking!
    It’s a questionnaire that’s badly incentivised by letting you add a graphic each time you answer a set of questions.
    The questionnaire was designed badly too, the questions were so closed, they may as well have made up the results themselves!
    Very pretty, but not functional or cost effective.
    I’m sure they could have made more use of the budget with focus groups.

  • http://www.mitooshi.com Nina

    I agree – the questions are strangely worded and are really leading so the results are unlikely to be useful to them. Also, once you have populated the play area, your little character doesn’t really do anything that’s very interactive. They could have made it more viral by allowing you to send your play area to your friends and that might have generated more visitors.