As much as 94% of first impressions relate to the site’s web design, which is especially important when it comes to government and institution website designs. They need to be able to instill trust and command authority, without turning away visitors with a dull, stern outlook.
A great government & institution website design can help you:
Improve public perception through better branding
Boost community engagement
Meet visitors’ unique needs
But let’s be honest: the majority of federal, institutional and local government websites are not very user-centric. They are typically extremely hard to navigate and they lack a clear visual hierarchy which makes it difficult for users to locate desired information.
However, there are more than a handful of shining examples that successfully break this deeply-rooted stereotype with seamless usability, stunning visuals and the overall user experience.
Sterling is a non-profit organization that collaborates with volunteers to deliver humanitarian aid and disaster relief to vulnerable communities around the world.
The organization's website, designed by UPQODE relies on stylish visual presentation, playful illustrations and an on-brand color palette.
The messaging is the most important aspect of Sterling’s website. It shuns redundant and long, excessive descriptions in favor of straightforward, on-point paragraphs that both clearly convey the organization’s goals and retain their light-hearted tone.
Rather than using negative space, the website’s alternating purple and white blocks help accentuate every piece of content.
The user journey is as simple as the design. While the website doesn’t use sticky menu navigation, it sits on the top of the page welcoming the visitors and showcasing every facet of Sterling’s mission.
Each menu section consists of several sub-menu items. When visitors hover the mouse over them, they open in a drop-down manner, revealing a multitude of subcategories.
Clicking on each option takes you to the other side of the website’s metaphorical coin, as the emotive doodles are replaced with photographs (even the typography transforms to slick, serif Passenger Display font).
Although we wouldn’t normally endorse such a break of the website’s uniformity, this method works in Sterling’s favor, emphasizing the organization’s mission by showcasing its distinct people-first approach and authenticity.
This “less is more” approach captures attention right from the get-go through subtle color grading that complements the homepage’s aerial landscape. The design visually spotlights Occoquan as a small town (with less than 1,200 residents) with plenty to offer.
The tranquil greens and blues intermittently laid out throughout the website‘s prevalent whiteness perfectly highlight the distinct semi-serif typography. They guide user attention and contribute to a seamless UX.
What stands out the most in terms of efficiency and usability are the website’s impressive loading time and sticky menu navigation.
UX best practices dictate the menu staying on top of the page when users scroll. Adorned by the town’s official logo, it is clean and practical, mitigating potential misdirection by swiftly opening drop-down submenus when visitors hover above different sections.
The website page load speed is lightning fast. Faster sites reap the most benefits and Imagine Design made every second count. Having in mind that pages that load within two seconds have an average bounce rate of a measly 9%, “the official website of the town of Occoquan” officially hits that sweet spot.
The Respektiere deine Grenzen or “Respect your limits” initiative focuses on treating nature and wildlife with the respect they deserve. Forests, mountains, meadows and bodies of water alike are habitats for animals and plants that are becoming scarcer as our “civilized” influence expands.
The website, courtesy of Baschnegger Ammann Partner acts as a problem-solving notice board, offering a consistent public information campaign aimed at increasing awareness via innovative branding tactics.
On the initiative’s website, fans of outdoor life will find comprehensive information on the subject of nature conservation, helpful tips for planning tours through a riveting interactive map and booklets with important rules of conduct.
The website is visually split into two symmetrical sides that share a mountain range landscape which effortlessly illustrates the brand’s mission. The line that cleaves the homepage guides visitors and represents and an ideal on-site user journey, on-page or literally.
Following that line reveals the website’s nature clearly (pun intended), as it uncovers a mobile-first design, ideal for finger scrolling when you relish in the “beautiful outside” with respect.
Established in 1990, Dzanga-Sangha Protected Area (DSPA) is in the far Southwestern region of the Central African Republic (CAR), at the northern edge of the Congo Basin forest. The area is widely known for its impressive biodiversity and is the biggest intact forest remaining in the country.
Developed by Buro des Prasidenten for WWF Germany, the aim of the Dzanga-Sangha website is, on one hand, to provide relevant information about the unique flora and fauna worthy of meticulous preservation. It also addresses conservation-oriented tourism by offering information on accommodation, travel options and local activities.
The website sports the on-brand color palette associated with the captivating nature of Africa. This contributes to the high-end branding usually found in some of the best-crafted tourist agencies’ websites.
The user journey begins with the sticky menu located on the left-hand side of the page. The hamburger icon opens up a sliding menu that commands attention with its palpable green hue and subtle micro-animations.
A particularly eye-catching element, or rather elements, are the captivating photo gallery and grayed-out vector illustrations accompanying every single page, from information about local wildlife to the booking of a luxurious, eco-friendly, accommodation.
The design and storytelling work in tandem to offer a unique taste of African Outback, attracting visitors enticing them to continue exploring the website.
The Hispanic Police Officers Association (HPOA) is a Miami-based, non-profit friendship organization for members of the police force of Latino descent, whether serving or retired.
The purpose of HPOA is to inform, educate, unify and stimulate its membership through various charities, training programs, legal assistance and events.
To help them create a unified platform for all its members, HPOA hired Decographic, a Miami agency with a proven track record in creating meaningful digital solutions for several local institutions.
While mostly static, the website breathes life with the animated spinning logo (styled like a police badge). It increases user engagement and showcases the organization’s vigilant watch over the city of Miami.
The simple, sticky navigation menu ensures ease of use and increases visitors' retention. It’s clean and practical without any distractions to draw attention away. User-friendliness is further reinforced with the usage of negative space that improves readability and allows visitors to consume the content efficiently.
The uncluttered bright background is only interrupted with occasional photography and striking blue color accents used for icons, highlights and CTAs.
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International Wildlife Coexistence Network is a worldwide initiative connecting communities and wildlife experts across the globe.
Their website, crafted by IndieTech Solutions, does what words cannot express or properly convey — making a change — design-wise at first and with any luck, a global change of perception towards nature preservation.
The website’s atypical journey starting with an engrossingly beautiful video tells the brand’s entire story with the so-called “scrollytelling” technique. In other words, it morphs long-form storytelling into a highly interactive experience as users scroll through the website, while video adds a layer of visual appeal.
The initial, unorthodox horizontal scrolling seamlessly switches to vertical, backed with a slew, but unobtrusive, micro-interactions. Absorbing and retaining information in this manner is not just memorable – it imprints on our collective consciousness leaving a lasting impression – a virtuous conversion if you ask us.
IDI is a Mallorca-based advanced dental institute that hits a perfect balance of high-tech clinic and family-run business.
The website, developed by Miguel Trias, an independent design studio based on the same Spanish island, is a model union of usability, pleasing aesthetics and futureproof design.
Technically, it is top-notch, featuring a lot of details and micro-animations that create a genuinely pleasant navigation experience. The smooth journey not only allows users to easily discover IDI’s services and book an appointment but subconsciously associate resulting gratification with them.
The website design’s approach to video is also very interesting. While the looping video on the homepage contributes to the first impression, actually clicking on it takes you on a journey starting far from a dental clinic.
Visitors that land on dental service websites generally seek four things: location, price, specialist bios and appointment page. By watching the video, they alleviate potential anxiety or the typical patient discomfort we all feel in the waiting room.
Scrolling down the page, its economical use of messaging becomes more apparent. With no more promo copy than necessary, IDI’s website lets patients speak in their stead through prominent testimonials.
A modern, legible sans-serif font coupled with custom iconography is used throughout, from the main tagline and CTA at the top to the footer and contact page.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has long advocated for the care of the US infrastructure. Starting in 1998, they issue the Report Card for America’s current state of infrastructure every four years. With almost a decade-long partnership with ASCE under their belts, Ironistic digital agency was a natural choice for the 2021 report card website redesign.
The main goal of the updated website was to modernize the design and audit the content to best display the report’s critical information to its target audiences.
Ironistic opted for a content-focused layout, with colorful visual elements and messaging interspersed on all the primary landing pages, with the goal of presenting data simply and efficiently.
The sticky main menu navigation switches to white once the user starts scrolling. Scrolling down reveals all kinds of information, blocks of text, CTAs and other insightful elements.
One of the coolest elements is ASCE’s interactive state map – where visitors can click on their state and learn more about its infrastructure facts.
The site renders well for both desktop and mobile users. Its responsive, modern look and feel, along with a careful balance of design and usability result in an interactive and stylish end product.
When it comes to grading, no one is more qualified to do so than the next entry on our list.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is a professional and protective organization, representing over 83,000 teachers and educators employed in the public elementary schools of Ontario.
Their public website, made by Inorbital, is an essential communication platform used to inform members, engage the media, parents and the public on the critical issues of public education in Ontario.
While having a very specific audience in mind, the ETFO’s website is an enjoyable ride. Besides fresh and accessible design, it utilizes a simple layout and content hierarchy that makes navigating through every page a breeze.
Sporting different hues of purple, yellow, blue, and red to accentuate every page element, from photographs, written content to CTAs, the website emerges as a cheerful and colorful place, acting as an embodiment of the organization’s logo and a reflection of the diverse nature of the union.
To reduce bounce rate and keep users glued to the ETFO website, Inorbital built a custom smart search with intuitive filters and tagging. As part of the sticky navigation menu, this search section was customized based on the user journeys and the content that users were looking for the most.
Talk about learning, huh? Straight As in our book, for sure!
Future of Umag, an interactive showcase of government projects made by ALT for the City of Umag, showcases the plans to develop the Croatian seaside area in the coming decade.
With this platform, local authorities wanted to present in detail all future steps in a visually simple and engaging way, providing both residents and tourists with the most realistic insight into the said plans.
The main goal of this platform is to communicate with citizens, who will be involved in each project with their thoughts and suggestions.
The impressive 3D interface engages interested parties and casual visitors alike, providing a unique interactive experience commonly found in some Triple-A video games.
Callshop Radio is an independently operated community radio station based in Dusseldorf, Leipzig and Paris. Focusing on local indie artists of each city, the station aims to leave all rules and boundaries behind.
This “express yourself” attitude permeates every facet of their website, or rather online radio station, designed by the equally artsy graphic and motion designer Kilian van de Water.
Visually, the highly original design approach evokes a mix of different aesthetics: sharp, angular lines associated with industrial music artists of the 80s coupled with colorful and smooth motion graphics.
The whole website looks more like an animated, clickable poster than a website, which adds to its overall uniqueness.
Not conforming to norms and conventions helps Callshop Radio stay as close to its listeners as possible. Aside from live sessions and show calendar/timetable, the page sports a dedicated chat room that entices its growing community members to interact and stay engaged between “gigs.”
Frontline, a website developed by Olson agency, tells the untold stories of doctors and medical workers working on the first line of Covid-19 defense and suffering from physical and emotional burnout. The website's layout puts their stories front and center, which the users can list simply by dragging their mouse cursor over the screen and picking a story.
Clicking on a single story's first lines opens a pop-up window with a full story. The quote from each story is in a classy serif font against a dark blue background, while the About and Index pages present the awareness-rising purpose behind the website and the list of doctors featured.
Designed by 8bitstudio, the website for Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence opens with a full-screen, hi-res video with a main tagline and display of UVPs across. The main menu on top of the screen opens a visually stunning screen, with airplane navigation instruments at the center.
Down the homepage is a mix of visual and textual elements presented in a modern fashion, with large fonts, huge images and diagonally cut sections. The creativity of the website lies in its use of "element of surprise" because the visitors never know that's coming next in terms of content, visuals, CTAs or anything else of note.
Hukoomi Qatar eGovernment website by Lollypop Design uses national colors of the Quatari flag - dark red and white - as a foundation for the appearance, with white dominating and making up the legibility and understandable quality of the website, with red being the accent color on buttons.
The complexity of citizen services is well reflected in a two-level main menu that stays on the page all the time. The website offers a neat overview of all the major factors that concern the country's citizens and presents it in a well-articulated manner.
The user profile options are staying on the right hand side of the screen at all times, giving a unique and handy access to personal data and documents at any time's notice.
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