Monday, July 20, 2009

Government Web Sites

NextGov has a nice graphic presentation entitled "Best Practices for Government Web Sites." It focuses on five agencies--NASA, the Library of Congress, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Social Security Administration, and the Transportation Security Administration--and presents their sites, pointing out ways in which they meet the needs of their users. It gives those of us involved in Web design--as most librarians are these days--a lot of good ideas to improve our libraries' sites. The short accompanying article makes the point that the five sites highlighted are not necessarily the best federal sites out there, but all do employ "best online practices" for Web design. "They don't all make use of the latest and greatest in Web 2.0 technology or sport cutting-edge designs, and that, we've learned, can be a good thing." The sites also provide options for users who do not have access to the most up-to-date computers. What all five agency sites have in common is that they "paid careful attention to what their users wanted to see and do online." That seems like the basis of any good Web site, no matter who is responsible for it.

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