Government Web managers are getting the message: Great municipal websites must be blazing fast and easy to navigate and offer access to information — including financial data, meeting transcripts, e-services and contracting records — not traditionally provided to the public.
Although speed and usability are critical, this last feature — delivering on the promise of transparency by serving data about how government operates and tax money are spent and providing access to various types of e-services — sets this year’s field of government websites apart.
Nowadays, the push for open government and information transparency has had a great influence on the design and features of public-sector websites.
Although this is not a quantitative list — the field is way too broad to accurately measure — the following sites use technology and techniques in ways that bear that out.
The most successful websites have these things in common:
- They keep in mind that different user types, or personas, will be using the website.
- They use UX best practices to structure website elements, such as navigation and site flow.
- They are typically split up by audience type (residents, tourists, businesses, etc.) or by task (such as pay a bill, find a job, or get information on current events).
- They are not categorized by department. Because visitors are usually not familiar with your organizational structure, they can have a difficult time finding information if the site is organized in this way.
- They are fairly simple and avoid bombarding visitors with too many choices, images or moving visual elements.
Here is a list of municipal websites that organize information efficiently, follow UX best practices and make effective use of design.
- Madrid, Spain
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