Dot Gov Website

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    Henry Brown

    new contender for the best dot gov website?!

    I have spent some time at and even my cynical self was somewhat impressed…

    Considering that the people who are going to use the site are probably not the most computer literate would offer that this site will go a long way in correctly implementing a significant portion of the Affordable Health Care Act….

    IMO an excellent review/commentary from The Atlantic: Code Developed by the People and for the People, Released Back to the People

    How a website is built or designed may seem mundane to many people, but when the site in question is focused upon such an important function, what it looks like and how it works matter. Last week, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) relaunched with a new appearance and modern technology that is unusual in federal-government websites.

    Thinking differently about a .gov
    The new site has been built in public for months, iteratively created on Github using cutting edge open-source technologies. is the rarest of birds: a next-generation website that also happens to be a .gov.

    “We needed to evolve from the previous site but didn’t want a total departure,” said Ed Mullen, a user experience designer who has worked on since it was first launched, in an interview. “The web has changed dramatically in that time. Part of adapting to that [change] has been creating a site that really understands consumers. Today, consumers are doing all kinds of things across the web. We’re comparing ourselves to Rdio and similar services. We want to be aligned with the current thinking of the Web.”

    The people that helped to build the new are unusual: Instead of some obscure sub-contractor in a nameless office park in northern Virginia, the site was iteratively created by a cross-disciplinary team of developers and editors at HHS, and contractors at Teal Design, Edward Mullen Studio, and Development Seed, a scrappy startup in a garage in the District of Columbia.

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