Is the future of…

FI asks if this is future of airline websites.  As you can expect, WestJet designers look at AirCanada’s website who is looking at United’s who just looked at WestJets.  Industry sites often become less about the user and more about copying neat features from other sites.  The same happens with city and all sorts of other websites.  The end result is that Saskatoon’s new website will look like Edmonton, Toronto, and Chicago’s website and we go, “We’ve done a great job” because we are as cool as everyone else.  Instead we need to be doing a process like this.  Of course we don’t because while the end result isn’t the same, it’s not the same as Chicago, Edmonton, or WestJets.

One thought on “Is the future of…”

  1. I sincerely hope not. And as someone with a small measure of control over the process, I’m pushing against this as hard as I can. There are some challenges:

    1) When another city or organization does create a cool feature that is applicable to our city, why should we not copy or adapt it?

    2) Many of the bidders on the contract will be companies with experience doing city websites. This is largely a good thing, since it ensures that they can complete the project and have a strong understanding of the scope and complications. The corollary to this is that they will use techniques for designing and building the site that are similar to those that worked for them in other cities, leading to something that looks similar.

    3) We are like many other cities in most respects. Yes, there are differences that make Saskatoon special, but we still need to fix potholes, pick up garbage, put on festivals, and let people know when the buses are running. Similar use cases lead to similar design.

    Just some thoughts. Cheers!

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