While doing some research at work yesterday, I stumbled across the website for the City of Lexington, Kentucky. And what a surprise! I look at websites for a lot of city and county governments (research for work and also job hunting), and Lexington’s is the best looking website I have seen.
Usually websites for local governments look drab, are rarely updated (making the information outdated), look bad in non-Internet Explorer web browsers (try Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Google Chrome), and overall have pretty poor usability.
The site for the City of Lexington isn’t perfect: on many pages the content is pushed down the page in Firefox, but I bet that is a problem with old formatting in the information being displayed, not necessarily the CSS. But the site looks great. It has rotating images on the homepage that are interesting to look at, updated news items, real-time traffic updates, access to GIS, trendy buttons, a unique favicon (although the favicon doesn’t match the site design, it is so much better than a default server favicon), a sitemap, and a contact page. All with easy navigation.
The City of Lexington, Kentucky, has the caliber of site that all local government websites should strive to meet. But people in government oftentimes don’t seem to understand how having a usable website allows for easy communication with their citizens.