Posted: July 2nd, 2012
We here at Social Driver believe that everyone can get with the future, governments too.
Government websites may be the perfect case for web usability and good design. These sites have a public mission to serve and inform, both of which can be greatly helped with a few smart webtools and an open eye to innovation. And now, with such amazing tools at our disposal, the opportunity for agencies to build high impact, and highly useful sites has never been greater.
What makes a government site great is different than what makes a conventional site great, of course. Good looks and snazzy graphics alone don’t make for a good use of taxpayer dollars. Like the agencies they represent, a good site is for the people and therefore serves a public purpose. These winners all succeed by looking good and doing good.
Did you know that the polished brass finish on your home plumbing fixtures comes from a space-age technology developed by NASA? You do now and you’re welcome. NASA@Home is a fun and graphically innovative site for understanding all the ways that NASA touches our lives. Fun to explore, loaded with information.
They say that Kentucky is where beauty, excitement, and hospitality come alive. Would you expect anything less from the state’s own website? KY.gov’s maker’s mark feels modern and accessible while providing all of the state’s vital resources. Even better, no wild turkey chases here. The site’s responsive design will beam any Jim straight to the information needed, regardless of device. And if there’s anything we here at Social Driver love, its bourbon responsive design.
Joining KY in the winner’s circle is Utah.gov with its search-centric, Bing-inspired landing page. Why sort for information on winter skiing conditions or dinosaur fossils when you can just search for it? (or, is it “Bing it?” Or, “Ute it?” Yes, we like “Ute it.”) While the site may not be response it is very mobile ready, so you can put on your official Utah state tartan and dance the official state folk dance. What are those, you ask? Ute it.
Governments are complicated. Benefits are complicated. Much to the relief of bureaucrats everywhere, benefits.gov is not complicated. Through their handy ‘Benefits Finder’ you can take a look to see which government assistance program. I, for example, may be eligible for 54 benefit programs. Thanks, benefits.gov!
How strong is the US Army’s website? Army strong, naturally. Backed by alluring imagery of skydivers and wall climbers, GoArmy is the online face of the Army’s recruitment efforts. The site’s appeal is more than skin deep though. Live webcasts, virtual base explorations, and live chats with sergeants aplenty are at the ready to help you choose to answer that call of duty.