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THE NEW INIS
EXPECTATIONS vs REALITY
What makes a
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
Services – Does it provide details on the service/product?
Speed – How long does it take for the page to come
Personalisation – Does it interact with the user?
Scalability - How easy is it to maintain?
What makes a
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.
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.
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”.
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
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.
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)
What needs to
The content structure – it is not easy to find relevant
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
Users do not have an personal account to manage their visa
Appointments do not seem to be booked based on applicants’
profile and needs;
What could be
Restructure the content to facilitate navigation;
Improve the news/updates section;
Improve the translation tool and include a screen reader
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
Create an alert system to remind applicants about visa
Book appointments based on applicants’ visa expire date.
Awad, .E.M, 2007. Electronic Commerce – From vision to Fulfilment, 3th ed, USA, Pearson
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-
Big Think, 2011. The e-Government Revolution. [online video] Available at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ-JyDO0vHs [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: http://www.universitytimes.ie/2016/11/delays-in-registration-for-international-
students-could-see-unable-to-return-home-in-time-for-christmas/ [Accessed 07 October
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: https://www.dublininquirer.com/2016/11/23/burgh-quay-
queue-gone-wait-longer/ [Accessed 07 October 2017].
RTE, 2016. Online immigration registration appointment system taken down. RTE, [online] 9
September. Available at: https://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0909/815370-immigrant-applications/
[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].