Thursday, September 27, 2007

Common Look and Feel – Why Look Further Than

I was looking at this morning; and it struck me that the design they’ve got could work for most government agencies.

I like everything about the masthead. It’s clean and simple. The branding is perfect. It’s got tabs, which - for agencies - could be “Citizens,” “Partners,” and “Media.” I like the “top services” section. It gives prominence to the “top tasks” that the web manager community is working to identify and enhance. And the content below that section could be customized to the agency, using the directory layout (and – where appropriate – taxonomy) on as a model.

I know the team did a ton of usability work on the design, so why reinvent the wheel? Why not just use this template across government?

I think part of the fear tied up with the common look and feel discussion is the thought of coming to agreement on a design. Well, why not use what we've already got? I know I could have fit the HUD content into that format. Maybe you’d exempt the Smithsonian and a few others. But certainly the cabinet level agencies could adopt this design easily.

If I were pitching to the new administration, I’d pitch this. Shouldn’t THE government look like THE government?

Related links:

Three Wishes
Serving the Public - What Lies Ahead
Common Look and Feel - Maybe the Time Has Come

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