Top Local Government Websites:
Seattle utilizes a clean look and feel for its design, without being too bogged down. Its navigation bar is not confusing, and each item in the navigation bar, when clicked, provides a subtle color change for the site via CSS. The website offers a slew of great services for citizens, and provides a simple gateway to access those services.
The city of Arvada, Colo., has a straightforward design for its website, and includes links to important functions for citizens: paying utility bills, accessing building inspection and permits, and a help forum that is said to provide “Service and Information 24/7.” Also, in the website’s footer, there is a link to both its iPhone and Android app – a must for any city moving into the landscape of 2.0.
The city of Riverside, Calif., has an elegant design, including a header that shows a skyline of the city, and a seemingly floating carousel on the front of the page that grabs your attention, but isn’t jarring on the eyes. There are also links to the city’s different social media sites, where citizens can stay connected with the city. Prominent on the front page is an area where citizens can apply for different documents, pay utilities, report crimes, or ask questions about accessing city resources.
The most impressive thing about Mesa’s website is its design elements. Above the fold, the site makes good use of white space, having elements that are clustered together in a thoughtful manner. The navigation bar is also an attractive feature on mesaaz.gov. Despite how clean the site looks above the fold, the site starts to taper off below the fold. The Departments and Divisions section lists every single department alphabetically, and this element takes up a lot of space. Overall, however, the website does a great job with branding itself, and providing access to different city resources.
Richmond makes excellent use of white space on its website, and provides city news, announcements, and ways to stay connected right on the home page. The biggest selling point about the website’s design and layout is its cleanliness. To achieve this cleanliness, it opted to pack a lot of options into dropdown menus within its navigation bar, a sometimes risky tradeoff to make. Overall, the navigation bar is too loaded with options, but the site gets bonus points for its layout.