Saturday, January 24, 2009

Websites - I am Voting for the Bloc

Compare them yourself. Here is the new Government of USA website entitled ‘Welcome to the White House”, and here is the existing Canadian Parliament Website. Which impresses you? makes you want to read further and to explore? Now here is the official Government of Canada site, a very comprehensive information vehicle. So kudos for content on this one.

I would describe the Canadian Parliament site as unimpressive. But it is more than that. It gives the appearance of an early entrance into the internet website era, even a reluctant admission that this is the most comprehensive form of communication today. In contrast the USA government site was newly installed on January 20 2009, Inauguration Day and carries the same look and colours of Barak Obama’s presidential campaign site. It is designed to engage people in government and to increase the information flow in both directions. Our Canadian site currently is configured with small font, jammed with information on presenting pages and not at all stimulating to explore unless in serious need of information. (Did you notice how my visual images contrast the scale of my impressions of each?)

So I decided to write to the Canadian Parliament website at their invitation to say the following:
“This is not a criticism but a suggestion. Having just viewed comparatively the new web site of the USA government and our own Canadian government site, perhaps a refreshment of our Canadian site design with use-friendliness, colour, and larger font would increase user volume and ease of use. Since timing of USA's new site was January 20th 2009 might it not be timely to affect this redesign for January 26 2009 start of the next session? Thanks for reading. Ron”

Yes you can see that I even threw my art website at them in a brazen self promotion.

I would love to see a Canadian government website of which I can be as proud as I am of my country.

1. Conservative Party website is attractive, easily navigable, informative but not current and still contains the old fighting anti NDP and Liberal rhetoric.
2. The Liberal Party site is cast in red & white, plainly and simply, easily navigated but disappointingly uninformative about major issues and policies and agenda.
3. The NDP site is shockingly and tastelessly orange as in construction coveralls, but it's well designed and provides good visuals.
4. The Bloc Quebecois Party website has the mandatory English option, good visuals and colours and is very informative.
5. The Rhinocerus Party is designed in simple red and white with the goofy rhino logo, looks like a cartoon and does not work well.
5. The Green Party site is... green, well laid out, is easily understood, has very good issues and solutions lists. I am impressed.

Of the Canadian collection in terms of design and useful information I would shortlist the Conservative, Green and Bloc sites and my vote goes to the Bloc.

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