We launched an online poll on 22 October to find out the most important research and innovation-related tasks people come to the Europa website to do.

The poll will help us rank the tasks – or actions people come to the website to complete – in order of importance, to know what matters most to the most number of people.

Top 5 reasons

The poll lists between 50 and 80 main research and innovation tasks we think people come to the site for.

From this list, we're asking participants to pick out the top 5 reasons they visit the site and rank them in order of importance (highest to lowest) from 5,4,3,2, down to 1.

What tends to emerge is that a small number of tasks in a field – this time research & innovation – are selected by a large number of people.

It's a pattern often compared to the 80-20 rule: a small number of tasks are chosen by a large group of people. These are the 'top tasks'.

There are also medium and small tasks, even tiny tasks, which are still important and won't be left out. But the goal is to build an information architecture that first meets the biggest demand.

In the poll, we also ask people for information about their profile – things like their job and research interests. It's optional to fill in, but it can help us understand what matters most to people working in different research fields, from universities to NGOs, for example.

Devising the poll

In order to come up with the list of survey tasks, we carry out research by looking at our organisational goals and how they converge with user needs, the current Europa site, and the websites of similar organisations.

We also carry out a 'pre-survey' asking thousands of volunteers 3 main things:

  • what information is most important?
  • what do you need it for?
  • if you don't find it on our website, where else?

We collect all the feedback into a long list of tasks, and then crunch it down with experts from the relevant DGs till we have a list of 50 - 80 mutually exclusive user tasks for the poll.

This whole survey process forms the building blocks of our future evidence-based information architecture. You can tell us your most important resons for interacting with the European Commission in connection with research and innovation until 29 October.

Photo credit: Thomas Hawk / Foter / CC BY-NC

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