There are 27 countries that are part of the European Union (EU) and there are a lot of common decisions that have to be taken by official representatives, regarding different domains, including the following: administrative, economical, financial and commercial. The idea is that these countries become more powerful and influential when they come together; nowadays, due the economic crisis this movement was left in the shadow, but I am certain that all these problems will pass.
Fortunately this post hasn’t the purpose of presenting the strong and weak points of the EU, it is written to present and make some comments regarding the design of the official websites of the countries forming the union. Each person that is part of the union has the moral duty to know the member countries, but surely there are people who are based in countries outside EU, so it is better to clearly present them. All the countries should be visited in our holidays but firstly let’s visit the official websites:
The Austrian Federal Chancellery welcomes you and this warm message is impossible not to be noticed once you land on this website. The design is very clear, the usability and accessibility are principles clearly taken into consideration when the site was built. A strong point is the navigational menu that tells everyone the location on the site, like “You are here:”
Belgium proposes a very detailed website with many pieces of information. Personally, I am amazed by the style adopted: it isn’t very formal, as an official website usually is, but it isn’t too popular to be perceived as a social network. It offers a perfect balance between formal and informal. Another strong point of this website is that it has four versions, depending on the language: Dutch, French, English, and Deutsch.
The official website is still built with tables, so it is a weak point. The blue color is suitable for such a website and the great amount of information is one of the positive aspects of the website.
This website isn’t very attractive (personal opinion); it is simple but somehow old-fashioned. The design is based on white and green, good colors for the eyes of the readers and the richness of information are a plus for the website.
The website is awesome and the information here is complete; the menu isn’t only a collection of links and contact, no, here anyone can find pieces of information about what should someone visit in a country, the programs for studies here, how to develop a business. Another plus: “follow Denmark on Facebook, Twitter or Flickr!”
It has a pretty decent website, with a good menu so the initial purpose, to inform people regarding the activity of the government has been achieved.
Finland has an interesting website that impresses by normality. It has a blue and normal sized header and the rest of the website is decent; nothing more but the needed information. Maybe there are some alignment issues.
France has a very good website with a modern look; much more, it seems alive and helpful. The idea behind this website is very similar to the Denmark one; here you can find news about the government but also about the investment opportunities, studying in French or learning their language.
The German people are considered to be very serious and all the time focused on work. The government of the Germany has a very serious look, specific to the ordinary German. The cold color scheme is obvious but I am in doubt, is it an old-fashioned layout or does it have too many navigational options?
The website isn’t very complicated, it has nothing important to reveal from the perspective of the design. Clearly, the footer is boring, without something attractive or important links. Also the navigational menu has nothing to do with the latest trends in web design.
This website has a very colorful navigational menu but it seems that the website was launched in 2000 and never redesigned. Another weak point is the fact that I haven’t discovered an English version because the Hungarian language isn’t too used in Europe.
Ireland has a very simple website, with a clear menu and nothing more.
Italy has a detailed website, full of information, a clear menu (without any English version) but the overall design wasn’t updated for several years. I believe that the main problem of this website is the lack of white space, everything is very condensed.
The Latvian website impresses me because of the fact that it has a version for those who have sight problems. Other positive aspects of this website are the highlight on the ways to contact the Government and the versions in Latvian, English and Russian language.
The design of the layout is good, the white and blue color scheme being awesome. The dividing of the main content is maybe too complicated but anyway one may neglect this small problem. I didn’t find a button to switch to English version, did you find one?
This website is more recently updated than others and it is a real official website: not very complicated, serious, cold, offering the proper information & news and nothing more.
Here another website is presented, with similar features with the precedent. The color scheme maybe isn’t the best but it is enough to make it enjoyable.
The website is better realized than the majority but surely, there are some things which could suffer improvements. The RSS icon in the most cases is colorful, situated to be very easily noticed and here it is black and white. The header is original but it seems incomplete, maybe another image is a solution.
Very good website! First of all, the color scheme isn’t based only on white and blue, there is much red and the combination is appropriate. The website is clearly metalinguistic, there are 9 versions for various languages; there are versions in Chinese and the Arabic language – a very original idea. The design is good, the” idea” of being outdated as in other cases here is totally forgotten.
Portugal also has a well-done website and definitely its main positive point is the color scheme which is nice and based on the colors of the national flag. The written content and the white space are very balanced and the user can easily find what he is searching for.
I should recognize that I am subjective (I am from Romania) but this website is really great. (It will be great to know your opinion about the website). Definitely it has a very modern look, multilinguistic and two font size versions. Another strong point is the footer which is clean and offers a lot of very important links.
A website which is nice: a proper color scheme, blue and white, very usual amongst these kind of websites, a balanced rapport between white space and content, very well selected images and a good job overall.
Definitely here we almost have a masterpiece: the header is probably the most interesting, the background isn’t white as the huge majority and also the footer is bigger than of other websites and it contain many useful links (very similar to the Romanian version). The menu is simple but enough to get where you are interested. I couldn’t find a negative aspect.
The Spanish official online presence is awesome; the design is clean and modern, the navigation being a pleasure. It is the first website that reveals the fact that it passed some validation tests.
The Swedish people seem to be very careful of the persons with disabilities because here we have a website easily to be customized by anyone, with lots of options, each depending on the case of the user. Congratulations, the Internet is for everyone!
The British website isn’t eye catching but the overall design is pretty good; if there could be people who maybe aren’t in love with the layout then the content is clearly a very detailed one, offering the proper information.
Which is your favorite website? Please let me know and try to be very objective!