Web Design Critique: Gov.uk
This weeks design critique focuses on gov.uk, a mammoth website put in place to replace a whole host of government departments and agencies including Business Link and Directgov.
James Bond would be proud of the majesty of this re-design, marrying great information architecture with a minimal, but bold, visual design, purely focused on clarity of content and the users needs.
Sturdy Ship-Shape Structure
The website is highly readable with a clear information structure, a great heading and body text hierarchy gives for great scan-ability.
The page layout feels natural and has a nice flow as you go from a category page into a single topic page, the use of one, two, and three column grids help scann-abilty on larger screens.
With such a large and information rich website a search bar has quite rightly been given great prominence.
As you explore through the site a row of Breadcrumbs are positioned top left, so you don’t get lost at sea.
Some might say this website is graphically lazy, with the crown logo mark sitting atop in the header and a handful of photos being the only images you’ll notice, but I think theres a real beauty in the simplicity of the typography and the visualisation of the content.
A bold black sets the serious tone in the header, followed by a callout section in a Royal Navy blue; us English Folk have never let go of our proud naval heritage!
A responsive design methodology has aided the creation of a fast performing and device independent website that works great on smartphones and tablets.
The mobile view of the homepage is simple and usable, no frills, a simple list of links.
As you explore further into the depths of the website things could get hard to navigate, but a handy drop down mobile navigation pops up to ease your navigation pain.
Made in Britain
I’m not one for flag waving patriotism, but I’m proud of this well balanced and bold statement of usability and functionality that represents the best of British thinking on web design. This re-design should be hailed for it’s great content hierarchy, but most importantly for consolidating the many arms of a monster sized website and transforming it into a ballerina of subtle beauty.