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Public prefers PCs to mobile devices when accessing federal websites

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A plurality of people prefer interacting with the federal government via websites accessed through a personal computer, finds a survey of 2,048 people by IDC Government Insights.

Less than one percent, however, say their preferred method is through government websites via a smart mobile device. Analysis by the Framingham, Mass.-based market research firm says that could change, however, as devices such as tablets become more common and government websites becomes more mobile-friendly.

Significant percentages of respondents--29.2 percent in total--say they prefer interaction with the federal government that involves live contact with a human being, or at least the promise of it. In-person interactions are the preferred method of 11.8 percent of survey respondents, and telephone interaction the preferred method for 17.4 percent.

However, the assumption that younger citizens prefer electronic interaction with government much more than older citizens is incorrect, the survey says. In fact, preferred method of interaction varies little across age group, IDC says.

The upshot is that government organizations should continue to offer multiple channels for interaction, but encourage the public to migrate to preferred electronic channels, the survey report says.

When it comes to overall satisfaction with the federal government, the results do show a stark divide between those living in urban versus rural areas. More than 30 percent of urban dwellers say they are satisfied with the federal government, while only 20 percent or rural inhabitants say so. Denizens of the suburbs report a satisfaction rate of about 27 percent.

For more:
- go to a press release announcing the IDC Government Insights survey

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