Christopher Brook, a US ARMY veteran, has over ten years of experience in digital design and development of projects in both the public and private sector, including Senator Berne Sanders, Phillips 66, Cargill, United HealthCare, and Bosch, to name a few. He shares his experience in developing websites for Government with us today.
Could you explain how a government website design differs from the private sector?
Chris: Since most private sector websites are designed to sell products, it is relatively straightforward to know when the website is doing well. On the other hand, the goal of a Public sector website, like an elected official’s, is to sell an idea. So, your focus and content are about sharing your thoughts and why they matter. How and how often you share your ideas is also really important. It should be consistent across all channels: websites, social media, GovText, emails, and mailings.
Another is to ensure that the website is well organized and linked to make information readily available, focusing on clarity and accessibility. Ideally, constituents can quickly solve their issues without having to call your office. It is also critical to be mobile-friendly, as more than half of visitors do so using a mobile device. The most vulnerable segments of the population primarily have internet access via mobile devices. So, well-optimized websites allow people to ask for help using mobile access, including those with disabilities.