Apologies to Arstechnica, since I borrowed the title from their article, a cheerful discussion of some of the great apps and sites for citizens to get help, speak their minds, or just find their bus. I would like to write today instead about the US Web Design Standards, released in September, for all federal websites and organizations. Per infotoday.com: “…now the federal government as a whole has a single set of rules to establish not only a common visual style, but also guidelines that provide for easier navigation and standardized terminology.”
The Atlantic quotes U.S. Digital Service Designer Mollie Ruskin talking about their goals in setting these standards: “…our aim was to create an aesthetic both on par with 21st-century consumer products, while also capturing a distinctly American style that places a premium on simplicity and usability.” Unfortunately, the Atlantic could not resist pointing out that Canada and England have been doing it better all along, style-wise.
Well, I happen to love my country and found little nuggets of patriotism such as “CSS selectors are prefixed with
usa (For example:
.usa-button)” heartwarming and uplifting. USA!USA!USA!
All kidding aside, this is a good step in the right direction for our federal government, making it easier for our many different agencies to have the same look and feel, and increase ease of use for
users citizens visiting their sites.