Jyväskylä – Human Technology City – Known for Its User Friendly Internet Site

eGovernment articles

Helsinki, 4 July, 2005 — Jyväskylä – Human Technology City – Known for Its User Friendly Internet Site

The City of Jyväskylä’s Internet site has received positive feedback from evaluations measuring, for instance, the site’s user friendly quality. Already for the third time the site received top placement in comparison studies carried out by iTest Oy comparing 28 Finnish counties’ corresponding sites.

Internet is a very important tool in the city’s present operations. It is used to convey information and to serve the citizens, as well as for marketing activities to various parties. The site offers discussions and receives feed-back from the users. It encourages the citizens into participation and offers an opportunity to have true influence on matters of common concern. Without the people in both ends of the Internet there, indeed, would be no Internet! Internet is not merely a “technological system” but, at its best, an interactive channel between people.

Clarity and User Friendliness the Key Elements

In developing Jyväskylä’s Internet site special attention has been paid on clarity and user friendliness. The very core in the aims has been to strive for correct and up-to-date information and logical structure.

Especially during the last few years, the accessibility has been one of the heart-felt priorities. In the city’s view accessibility is a two fold matter: technological and content related. The Internet site has to work browser or instrument independently. The texts must be univocally understandable and clearly structured, the search words and page searches must be in order, and the site navigation must be coherent.

An Internet Site Is Never Complete

The citizens are looking forward to the ability to carry out a growing number of concrete transactions in the net. Jyväskylä has, for example, received praise of its libraries’ comprehensive www-pages and directories, regional lending service, and user training.

During the last few years Jyväskylä has been, population wise, Finland’s fastest growing city and the second most attractive migration target. The use of properties, zoning and construction, as well as the various modes of available housing, interest people. The city’s Internet site offers the citizens the possibility to participate in the city planning with comments and questions. The city engineer’s www-site contains numerous instructions and documents that aid in construction projects. Environment and waste collection receive equal attention. The Internet site also informs about the different housing sites’ waste collection points, as well as provides advice on recycling, nature trails and, during the summer, the water condition of the beaches.

The questions sent by the citizens and other users of the site on various topics are answered by the corresponding county experts. The JyväskyläTori (= JyväskyläMeetingPlace) chat forum facilitates discussions on just about any topic under the sun and serves as a forum for private citizens and organization to post their announcements.

The Chance in Operational Culture Furthers Business Opportunities

The Internet has become a county organizations’ permanent service channel. In the future that means ever more need for content expertise, changes in operational culture and, along with technological advances, growing need for increased competence. A part of usability issues can be solved with technology, however, it is most important to see beyond the Internet and focus on the person using the service and his needs. Technology merely functions as the servant.

Jyväskylä is especially known for its rich variety of culture. It was also the hometown of the world-famous architect Alvar Aalto.

The writer, Markku Andersson is the Mayor of the City of Jyväskylä. The article is published in ICT Cluster Finland Review 2005.

More information
http://ICT Cluster Finland Review 2005.pdf