Surfability News: Press coverage

The Government Office for London issued the following press release about our DTI Smart award:

"A Smart way to redesign websites"

A company based in central London has been given a Government grant to finance the development of a system which would help to make information-rich websites demonstrably more usable and easier to navigate.

Surfability Ltd, who specialise in improving intranet websites, have devised an innovative software-based approach by which they could accurately measure the usability of a large website.

The added value that comes from improving a website's ease-of-use is well documented, but usability studies are intrinsically slower and more labour intensive than the new method being developed by Surfability Ltd.

Surfability Ltd is receiving a Smart Award from the Department of Trade and Industry through their local Government Office, GOL, which encourages innovation in London.

The Smart Award will enable Surfability Ltd to test the feasibility of their idea and, if their experiments yield positive results, their website usability testing software will become an intrinsic part of a unique web redesign service.

Dr Mark Williams, one of the developers, said:

"The Smart award will enable us to develop and test a radical new approach to redesigning websites. We aim to demonstrate scientifically that our software method can measure a website's ease-of-use in a relatively quick and painless way."

Notes to Editors:

  1. For further information about the Smart Award scheme contact:
    Government Office for London, Riverwalk House,
    157-161 Millbank, London SW1P 4RR
    Tel: 020 7217 3187.
  2. For further information about Surfability Ltd please contact Dr. Mark I. Williams on 020 7074 0085 or email him at
  3. The Smart Award scheme is administered by the Small Business Service, within the Department of Trade and Industry. Two elements of the scheme grants for feasibility studies and development projects are operated by the network of Government Offices on behalf of the Small Business Service.
  4. Grants for feasibility studies are made to establish whether an idea is technologically and commercially feasible, whilst development grants are to allow development up to pre-production prototype stage - of a new product or process which involves a significant technological advance. For a feasibility study, Smart covers 75 per cent of eligible costs up to a maximum grant of £45,000. For a development project Smart covers 30 per cent of eligible project costs up to a maximum grant of £150,000 (including any grant already received for a feasibility study).

Issued on behalf of the Government Office for London by COI Communications London & South East. For more information please contact Helen Whiteside on TEL: 020 7261 8733 or by email at

Regional news releases for the Government Office for London and the Department of Trade & Industry can be viewed at

Released on March 6th 2002

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