I’ll breakdown the design quickly,? and spot few issues related to the layout and the visual design of the portal .

The portal is located at http://www.e.gov.bh, once you click the link you will notice that the link itself is not user friendly nor SEO friendly .

You don’t have to agree with everything i say, this is my personal breakdown based on my experience in web design, i like the way the government is trying to get the people to use the portal, but i think they should work harder on the visuals and strictly enhance it .

I’ll start by breaking down the site to its original structure layout or what so called “wireframe” :

  • Header & Navigation
  • Content area
  • left page
  • footer

before that lets see how the site looks once we land on the English section:

egov
Who agrees that there is a lot of visual noise specially in the content area ? it makes me feel nervous a little angry !
I don’t know where to look, a clutter of information no specific standouts that might aid me in seeking the information that i might be looking for, its been said that users permanently scan for quick?n’dirty-solutions which are ?good enough?,? try to attract the eyes with a standout element .

Seven is the number that human’s short term memory can retain ( 5-9 ) looking at many things under one page with no proximity, alignment, or contrast will only end up with user frustration, its always recommended to have the main important info on the first page and make it standout, that’s off course determined under a proper information architecture documentation, Ok now lets start ….

Header and Navigation:

  • The header itself has 3 different background colors!!!
  • “welcome @ main”? is almost hidden.
  • The search box to the right is not aligned with the sign in box above it
  • Advanced search ” link ” is basic and doesn’t mix with the theme
  • Im not sure that they should play with the logo like that !

e-gov-header
The navigation has 5 ( gradient like ) colors, looking like tabs, the quality of the visuals is low, the designers didnt pay much attention to details .
In my opinion, box it out in one, or free it as text links (CSS themed) which will allow some space or white space, white space is essential, white space is good, don’t be afraid to use it, most designers tend to fill in the white space they get scared when they see it …
combining the 5 colored menu with the 3 colored background = disaster 😀

egov-navigation

Content area:

Like i said earlier a clutter of information, lack of white space , lack of proximity and alignment .

main-content

Left page:
Click the image below…

left-panel

The footer:

footer

Conclusion:

They are really doing a good job by advertising the portal and trying to get people to use it, to maximize this i think they should revamp the site to be visually pleasing.

I still haven’t checked the portal functions, navigation & speed.
Did they follow a process or a procedure? what about usability testing? Focus groups ?IA ?

To have a solid website you should consider ” site architecture, visual design, content & technology which then leads to user interaction …

visual
The users nowadays has high expectations towards arising websites with the appearance of social networks sites like youtube, facebook and myspace, it will be hard to please them, 10 years ago we used to design for “Mom & Dad”, today we are trying to mix this, which leads us to the usability and user experience war.

Enough said 🙂