Was inspired by an old newpaper article (ht cafe Aug 8, 2009) on the status of public websites on mumbai. It basically concluded none of them are user friendly but the information exists! :-)
My take on that – forget user friendly, inaccessible is what I would say. I am sure there are lot companies / young college studies who will do a great job on a voluntary basis. Anyway, given the fact that only 50 million indians access internet once a month and possibly 1 million daily, I guess thats not their priority …
Listing the sites
- http://maharashtra.gov.in/ (doesn’t work!) Then tried http://www.maharashtra.gov.in/ Eureka. Guess what has no search box. Seems list a good assortment of websites that are useful.
- http://www.mmrdamumbai.org/ – Pretty informative about the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. Surprisingly you think you would find some maps and pics of construction project but its just information.
- http://bestundertaking.com/ – good site. Got to know I could hire a BEST bus! pretty affordable rates. Also about Advertisements on Buses and Electricity. Right to Information Act also given.
- http://www.trafficpolicemumbai.org/ – No search here again! The display of data sucks. I check about my area Colaba and the rules. I am immediately given a word document with lots of tables and some 170 traffic regalation with no reference to maps! I think people have kind of lost it. Lots of animated gifs and my eyes are going left, right and center :-) I thought traffic was all about focus and direction! Good look at the traffic offences and fines.
- Momentarily I shifted direction and went to the convential ‘wikipedia’, great information – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai . Makes you wonder why the government cannot make sense by some concerned people are able to bring information together in a simple + effective way.
- Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM)’s website – http://www.mcgm.gov.in/ – again no search but the display is pretty neat and good. Lot to improve
- http://mumbaipolice.org/ – unhappy to say the search doesn’t work. You think phone number and you get lost looking at the list which one to call! Says its designed by http://www.bcwebwise.com/ – very surprised at the crappy work these people are so proud to do. There needs to be a public entity that looks in the quality of these websites if they are outsourced
Anyway, enough of cribbing. Somehow what I noticed was all the websites are caught in the old way of ‘html’ way of designing web content. No one seems to using content management systems like drupal or wordpress. No search boxes. Wish things become better soon!