Government Analysis: FDA.gov
Much like the websites http://www.disa.mil/, http://www.america.gov/, and http://www.nasa.gov/, the front page of the FDA website features a large image, and like NASA’s site this image is static. In addition, the FDA website also has a lot of menus and text. I think it would have been a better design choice to omit some of the text and feature links to news about those stories or informative pieces in a slideshow that would run in place (although maybe slightly larger) of the current static image.
In defense of the Federal Drug Administration there is a lot of content required on this site, so I can’t nitpick too much about the fact that there are only two images on the front page. The top of the page features an A to Z glossary of terms which is perfect for someone looking up information about a specific drug or condition along with the typical search bar that was featured in the other government sites.
The FDA sites also resembles the other government sites by featuring a sign up link to get news from the Administration, which is a great design feature because it engages the viewer. It also has a boxed menu at the bottom of the page that says FDA For You, which features news that consumers, industry professionals, and/or health professionals may want to access. I think this is a great feature for the page but would be better suited at the top, or maybe an anchor link should be included at the top of the page so that the viewer is aware that it is there from the moment the page is opened. Since you have to scroll to see it it may go undiscovered with some viewers.
The colors on the FDA site also resemble the other sites, although the blues and grays on FDA.org are really neutral (with the exception of the reflex blue header) and kind of remind me of old school websites (or maybe it’s just all the text).
All in all I feel like the FDA.org site has a successfully informative design, but it’s definitely not a site I would come to for browsing because it is just visually not that appealing. Since it is stuffed with information I am sure it is a great resource for health services, of the four websites I analyzed, I liked this design the least.