Keep it simple.

There’s a balance to be struck between providing enough information and overwhelming the user with a screen cluttered by graphics, charts, photos, phone numbers, statistics and walls of text. Those elements are useful in moderation, but arranging them thoughtfully will save users time and avoid confusing people who may be anxious and not in an optimal state of mind to sift through a complicated layout.

Websites launched by the states of Florida, Nebraska and New Mexico, for example, feature clean, consistent design that emphasizes the most important information — like how confirmed cases have been identified in their state or what people should do if they suspect they’re carrying the illness — while stowing away other details where they can be easily accessed but aren’t distracting.

Colin Wood

Written by Colin Wood

Colin Wood is the editor in chief of StateScoop and EdScoop. He's reported on government information technology policy for more than a decade, on topics including cybersecurity, IT governance and public safety.

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