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THE NEW INIS WEBSITE: expectations vs reality

Analysis of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website, considering its e-government characteristic, its usability, level of personalisation and service quality.

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THE NEW INIS WEBSITE: expectations vs reality

  1. 1. THE NEW INIS WEBSITE EXPECTATIONS vs REALITY Mariana Hansen Mauricio Berlim Mmapula Ramojela Natália Soares
  2. 2. What makes a good website? According to Awad (2007), several criteria can be used to decide the quality of a website such as : Layout/Navegability – Is it easy to navigate? Font – Is it appropriate and used carefully? Content – Does it provide valuable and timely information? Services – Does it provide details on the service/product? Speed – How long does it take for the page to come up? Personalisation – Does it interact with the user? Scalability - How easy is it to maintain?
  3. 3. What makes a good website? Classification Websites can be evaluated based on 5 categories (Awad, 2007), starting with Category 1, a mere online presence, up to Category 5, which compromises multimedia and interactive websites. INIS website is believed to be Category 2 –Websites that offer more detailed information (form, application) and options that allow visitors to send in data for services.
  4. 4. Recent changes – online booking system Introduced in August 2016, the new system allows non- EU nationals to book online an appointment with Irish Naturalisation and Immigration (INIS) to register or renew their visa. Before the online booking system, applicants had to queue for hours outside the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) so they could get a ticket to wait for hours more inside. People used to arrive at 5 am to be sure that they would have a ticket.
  5. 5. New system, new problems Appointments can only be booked for dates within the next 10 weeks, and several of those trying to book report receiving a message saying there are simply no appointments available within that time period. The Department of Justice does not accept that there are major issues with the new system. Last December, spokesperson Ian Kelleher said it is an improvement on the old system, and that 25,000 appointments have been made since it was introduced. President of the GSU, Shane Collins, argued that, despite the improvements to the system, “it doesn’t combat the fact that our immigration services do not have the resources to assist international students with their visa process in what we would view an efficient time scale”.
  6. 6. Expectations The Immigrant Council of Ireland said the changes will make Ireland more welcoming to new arrivals and called for the system to be rolled out nationwide. Based on service user feedback, the expectation is to make the system more user friendly, resulting in the reduction and simplification of the number of registration categories and sub-categories currently available.
  7. 7. E-Government E-government is the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to deliver government services, which emerged in the late 1990’s (Cumbie and Kar, 2016). It is perceived as pro- democratic, increasing public participation (McNutt, 2012). One of its goals is to make the government bureaucracy more efficient and effective by look at citizens as consumers to provide service quality. (BigThink, 2011). Cumbie and Kar (2016), argue that it should be inclusive and provide online services even to those who are either unwilling or unable to get online. This contrasts with e-commerce strategies that focus on serving narrowly defined niche markets. Most evaluations of e-government focus on user satisfaction, service quality and usability.
  8. 8. Usability Usability Usability is considered one of the most important characteristics of any user interface (Hasan, Morris and Probets, 2011), comparing designed use with contextual experience. It can also include other concepts such as quality, learnability, effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction (Agarwal andVenkatesh, 2002). Usability evaluation methods (UEMs) User-based Evaluator-based Tools-based
  9. 9. What needs to improve? The content structure – it is not easy to find relevant information. Limited “inclusiveness” – poor translation tool and no screen reader for blind or visually impaired users. Limited personalisation – it does not specifically select content based on properties of the users (Kaptein and Parvinen, 2015). For example:  Users do not have an personal account to manage their visa applications;  Appointments do not seem to be booked based on applicants’ profile and needs;
  10. 10. What could be done? Restructure the content to facilitate navigation; Improve the news/updates section; Improve the translation tool and include a screen reader feature; Add a form to the Contact us page with a link for a FAQ page; But mainly, increase the level of Personalisation:  Users should be able to set up an account, with their relevant information, to better manage their applications and visa status;  Create an alert system to remind applicants about visa renewing;  Book appointments based on applicants’ visa expire date.
  11. 11. References Awad, .E.M, 2007. Electronic Commerce – From vision to Fulfilment, 3th ed, USA, Pearson Education. Agarwal, R. and Venkatesh, V., 2002. Assessing a firm's web presence: a heuristic evaluation procedure for the measurement of usability. Information Systems Research, 13(2), pp. 168- 186. Big Think, 2011. The e-Government Revolution. [online video] Available at: [Accessed 10 October 2017]. Cumbie, B. A. and Kar, B., 2016. A Study of Local Government Website Inclusiveness: The Gap Between E-government Concept and Practice. Information Technology for Development, 22 (1), pp. 15-35. Hasan, L., Morris, A., and Probets, S., 2011. A comparison of usability evaluation methods for evaluating e-commerce websites. Behaviour & InformationTechnology, 31 (7), pp. 707-737. Kaptein, M. and Parvinen, P., 2015. Advancing E-Commerce Personalization: Process Framework and Case Study. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 19 (3), pp. 7-33. McGrath, D. and Power, R., 2016. Delays in Registration for International Students Could See Them Unable to Return Home for Christmas. University Times, [online], 20 November. Available at: students-could-see-unable-to-return-home-in-time-for-christmas/ [Accessed 07 October 2017].
  12. 12. References McNutt, K., 2012. From the Outside In: The External Face of e-Government. Journal of InformationTechnology & Politics, 9, pp. 319-337. Metro Eireann, 2016. More INIS improvements in 2017 after online appointment system. Metro Eireann [online], 15 December. Available at: appointment-system.html [Accessed 07 October 2017]. Neylon, L., 2016. On Burgh Quay, the queue is gone, but the wait is longer. Dublin InQuirer, [online], 23 November. Availablet at: queue-gone-wait-longer/ [Accessed 07 October 2017]. RTE, 2016. Online immigration registration appointment system taken down. RTE, [online] 9 September. Available at: [Accessed 07 October 2017]. Waldron, D. and Ali, S., 2016. New Irish Work Visa System was Taken Offline after ‘High Volume’ Traffic Levels. Work Permit, [online] 5 November. Available at: volume-traffic-levels-20161105 [Accessed 07 October 2017].