See more information about this Research and analysis
Research and analysis
Published 6 November 2012
Bob HanniganConsultation Co-ordinator
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
The Axis Building
112 Parliament Street NottinghamNG1 6LP
This independent research was conducted by 2CV to provide a comprehensive view of UK adults’ use of the internet and of government information and transactional services online.
There are a number of existing sources of data on people’s use and non-use of the internet (including the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Internet Access Quarterly Update, Oxford Internet Survey, Ofcom UK Adults’ Media Literacy Report, BBC Media Literacy: Understanding Digital Capabilities. These sources were reviewed at the start of this project, and the decision was made to focus this research on people’s use of government services and information online, about which there is less existing data.
2CV carried out a quantitative study on how UK adults use the internet, and how they access government information and transactional services online. The researchers conducted interviews with 1,298 adults, ensuring that it was nationally representative and weighting it according to ONS’ internet use data.
Of the interviewees, 990 were recruited online, and these people took part in online interviews. The remaining 308 interviewees are people who are offline, and they took part in face-to-face interviews.
2CV also carried out a qualitative study with people who don’t use government information and transactional services online. These consisted of 18 2-hour ethnography sessions with pre- and post-session tasks.
These sessions included people of a range of ages, people who are employed and unemployed, people with disabilities, people from lower socio-economic groups, and people living in both rural and urban areas. This informed 2CV’s groupings of non-users of government digital services.
2CV weighted the data from these interviews to reflect the population as a whole. In the case of this research, it meant the data from the 76% of our interviewees who are online was ‘upweighted’ to reflect the fact that, according to ONS data, 82% of the actual population is online. This is why, in the research that follows, you will see references to the 1,064 online users and 234 users who are offline who have taken part in this survey.
This section presents important findings from the research. All of the data is available as part of the full data set. Each finding is accompanied by the relevant question from the studies. Unless otherwise noted, the question was asked of 1,298 adults and weighted to ONS’ internet use data.
Figure 1: how often do you access the internet? (Q11)
Note: The research also shows that 77% of UK adults use the internet at least once a day.
Figure 2: Have you accessed central government information or transactional services online within the past year? (Q11)
Figure 3: Which of the following services do you regularly use online? (Q11)
Note: ‘Government information and services’ is any central or local government website or digital service.
Figure 4: What are your reasons for using government services online? (Q7)
Note: This question was asked only of the 554 people in the study who had used government services online.
Unless otherwise noted, questions were asked of 1,298 adults, weighted to ONS’ internet use data. Of these adults, 1,064 are online and 234 offline.
Figure 5: Percentages of people who are online and offline in each demographic
Note: For definitions of the socio-economic groups (SEGs) listed below visit the National Readership Survey website.
Figure 6: Which of the following devices do you own? (L3 and N2)
Note: The table below shows responses from 1,064 people who are online and 234 who are offline.
Figure 7: Which of these do you use to access the internet?
Note: This data is selected from more detailed information found in Sections N2 and L3 of the full research.
Figure 8: Please tell us the different times that you typically access online services
Note: This question was asked of 1,064 people who are online. This data is selected from more detailed information found in Section L4 of the full research.
2CV developed groupings of UK adults who do not use government services online based on the findings of the research.
Figure 9: Groupings of people who do not use government transactional services or information online
Negative perceptions of the internet:
Low or no computer and internet skills:
These people say:
Resentful of the internet:
Only basic skills, rely on family:
Feel disinclined to transact online:
These people say:
Love what they know of the internet, fear the rest:
Can do specific tasks, but lack wider skills:
Very positive attitude toward the possibilities of the internet:
Lack skills, but are willing to learn:
Don’t feel they are quite ready for government transactions online:
Very positive about the benefits of the internet:
Committed to learning new skills:
Attitudes to online government services:
Highly skilled and confident across a wide range of websites:
Evangelical about the internet:
Not using government sites because of lack of awareness and bad user-experiences:
Download the full data from the Digital Landscape research.
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