As we’re currently considering designs for our organisation’s new website homepage, I thought it would be interesting to bring together all of the 11 local authority websites which were awarded the full 4 stars by SOCITM’s Better Connected 2010 report.
In doing so, I was surprised by the variety of approaches taken by these best-practice sites. I had hoped for some clear trends and design methodologies, but instead found some striking differences. Of course, the presentation of the homepage is only a small part of the story on any website, and given that many users will come in via search engines (and thus possibly never even see your homepage), any analysis should be proportional.
Nevertheless, visual comparison of the 11 4-star websites does offer up some useful inspiration and the similarities have plenty to tell us.
Note: screenshots taken in March 2010
On this page:
- The 4 star websites
The 4 star websites
Allerdale Borough Council
Also see the comments below for a link to Brent’s upcoming, minimal version.
Buckinghamshite County Council
Cambridgeshire County Council
East Sussex County Council
Exeter City Council
Newcastle upon Tyne City Council
Oxfordshire County Council
Salford City Council
South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council
Worthing Borough Council
- 7 of the sites had clear links to RSS feeds
- All had links to latest news
- 9 of the sites put the main categories on the right-hand side
- Most had localisation features – often via a postcode search or similar
- The length of the homepages was a surprise, with some stretching to three screens long (with a 800px high viewport).
- Many of the pages appeared quite text-heavy.
Is there anything else you think is notable about these screenshots? Do you have a favourite? Let me know via the Comments section below…