Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Future of Federal Web Page Design?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched It's currently in beta and it allows a visitor to choose from eight customized dashboards to accommodate their specific interests and/or needs of different industries (e.g. consumer, media, etc.). Or users can create their own personal dashboard using a combination of 22 different agency widgets that correspond to a publication or agency activity.

I love this for a lot of reasons. When the White House announced that it was freezing the issue of new .GOV URL's for three months and putting the existing federal agencies domain list under review, there was internal rumblings from federal contractors and government workers that a streamlining of government Web sites could lead to the cancellation of key program micro sites or even designated government URLs to highlight specific programs. This lead to fear that promoting and highlighting key services to taxpayers on owned government digital channels would become a gatekeeping nightmare and that programs would be unable to provide information demonstrating the effectiveness of their promotion strategy as related to program performance.

What I like about is that it seemingly resolves the issue of providing relevant information to multiple stakeholders by allowing visitors to the site to determine what content is most relevant to them. I also think this approach will hopefully address the concern of what content is presented on a federal agency's home page, avoiding any editorial squabbles over which programs to highlight.

I like that the site has the ability for a user to sign in and save customized dashboard experiences using existing social media and online accounts such as Facebook, AOL, Google, OpenID, Twitter and Yahoo. I hope this trend of personalization of government services continues.

What do you think of Is it a step in the right direction?

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