I appreciate that I can change “My Page” to any number of themes, but I would caution against us turning into MySpace.
I think it would help with identity, consistency in design and user identification if we were limited to choosing a “My Page” theme that went with our department.
GovLoop could provide a design template, with a background, set of colors, instructions on where to place emblems, etc. (very similar to http://www.army.mil/create). GovLoop could knock out some of the biggies (DOT, DOJ, DOE, DOD, EPA, TSA, a few others), and then invite others to add their agencies by following a couple of easy steps to create custom backgrounds.
Theme colors would be assigned to major departments (one for DOD, DOT, etc), perhaps only replacing the green of GovLoop with each department. If the color assignments get too tricky (trying to avoid the college graduation color debacle), then we could just stick with a very limited number of colors and allow the emblems to speak for our affiliation. GovLoop could develop a couple of display standards (for example, the background image always has to show the department emblem up top, then the sub department, etc.–again taking cues from the Army’s branding package).
I bring it up because I think it would be great to know, at a glance, if a person is with DOD, DOJ, etc., without having to hunt through personal info. GovLoop could also move toward applying similar skins on avatars to let people know where users are coming from–GS, contractor, military…whatever.
It might seem divisive, but I think it would do wonders to unify us, actually. People could begin to connect and seek out others when they notice emblems or colors. I’m with the Department of Defense’s only military communication school, the Defense Information School; I think it would be very beneficial if people could see that more readily and know they can ask me questions.
All of it to build more interaction and stuff. Just sayin’.
P.S. and when I say “GovLoop should…”, I’m willing to take that on, if people think it might be a good idea.
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