Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not found
The Mizar (Mausoleum) of Qaid (Founder of the nation, Jinnah) in Karachi is invisible, the agriculture market information in Punjab is un-readable and if you have to Invest in China, you need to know Chinese upfront. If you feel like reading headlines from a Sunday tabloid paper or the popular Masala Evening newspapers, you are wrong as these are in fact bug discoveries from government sites.
Last week I wrote about the poor governance of healthcare.gov and how governments all over the world should hire more testers. I then thought to spend some time on such sites in my region and a 30 minute session dedicated to 4 official websites gave more bugs than I have ever found in my earlier crusades at the Internet. For the purpose of record, Firefox 25.0.1 was used.
Here are the top picks:
Government of Punjab’s official site looks good in terms of the layout and information being latest. However sub links are going to places that are poorly design. For example, clicking on the ‘Agriculture Prices’ link from Citizen’s Corner> Get Services page, took me to a site that had it’s header as following upon playing with font sizes:
Now all of us know that governments are not transparent, but they do hide the names of the institutes is a gift from the e-government project.
Government of Pakistan’s official site seems to be struggling with lot of fronts and was slow in response just like the real government. It’s main page lay-out can kill many UI or UX experts, but an obvious finding was missing picture of Qaid’s Mizar on the National Symbols page that is reachable through the sidebar on the main page:
It was also interesting to note that if I go to About page and then go to National Symbols page, I get another page.
Then I thought that we, as in Pakistan, is not a promising land for any of the business and technology initiatives in this region and I should look up to our neighbors who also happen to be part of BRIC.
Government of India’s official site looked good from the layout perspective and how information was spread along. My testing instincts took me to the ‘Who is Who’ page from ‘My Government’ section that mentions key position holders in the government. Clicking on the ‘Prime Minister’ page, it told me that ‘Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not found’… am sorry ‘Page not found’ link:
Interestingly this page reminded me that this website is a result of 7 years long efforts. I really appreciate that but it might take them 14 more years to finish this project.
Then I looked at the China, the emerging power and my first fear was that they might not have any thing in English. To my pleasant surprise, they had some pretty well defined and structured English official website and I did increase some of my knowledge on China. The team of this site has done great job in providing info in English to the outside world but when it came to inviting them to invest, the ‘Invest in China’ page is solely in Chinese. The link is in the Quick Links section of ‘Business’ page:
One more proof that China is not welcoming to the foreign investors.
What are your plans to test websites of the government sites in your region? How do you plan to make this world a better place?