Appropriate Representation: Channel Integration at WhiteHouse.gov

We all face it as communicators: the constant feeling of being overwhelmed by the ‘too much’ of it all. Being bombarded daily by email Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, RSS feeds, FourSquare check-ins, and a plethora of other requests and channels for us to monitor is just a regular day-in-the-life. Add to this the new channels popping up by the minute and the misuse of those we already have.

Do we really know if we are getting the most out of them? Do we have them aligned appropriately so that they make sense to our users? Who is getting it right? The surprising answer is the White House. Here’s five reasons why:

1. Where Can I Learn More About My Interests? 

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Navigation here is very simple and headings within the drop down really drill deep into issues without another click. There’s really no getting lost here. Once in an issue area, left hand navigation easily gets you to a separate issue. Clean, easy and in terms we can easily understand. Related content (blog posts, video, etc) and feedback mechanisms are well integrated in each issue area, leading users to deepen their experience on the site.

2. What Do You Want Me To Do?

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Clear calls to action on content let the visitor know there is more to the story and lead them in the next step. Too often, we create great content and expect that our users know to click or scroll for more. Across the site, Whitehouse.gov asks you to share, watch and comment.

3. How Can I Show Others What I’ve Found?

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Sharing is often an afterthought yet needs to be foremost in our minds when creating content. There is nothing better than brand evangelists broadcasting your content personally. Whitehouse.gov provides a variety of opportunities to share content in social media. This example of quotes from the inaugural address is especially interesting, with its GIF-like appearance, making it great stand alone content for a variety of social platforms.

4. How Can I Get In Touch With You?

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Not only are the social media and email accounts very visible throughout the site, but there is also an area dedicated to contacting the POTUS. Here, we find information on how to submit comments online, write or call the White House. For those looking to be even more involved, there are areas for petition signing, and even gift giving (although those wishing to send gifts are strongly encouraged to donate instead). If anyone would be looking to hide contact information, wouldn’t it be this office? The openness suggests a closer connection with the audience and obviously must have a strong strategy in place.

5. Where Can I Find Interactive Content?

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Blog content – with great photos and video –  is easily found in the main navigation. In the Photos & Video area, not only will you find page namesakes but also the WhiteHouse.gov livestreams and podcasts. All major content areas are readily available for subscription. (One fun interactive way they use the livestream is having the first family surprise White House tour guests. How awesome is that?)

These seem simple, yet send a powerful message about how this content was strategically put together. Ease of use, great updated – and sometimes, live – content and ways to share it make this a gold star primer in interactive integration.

How can we take these examples and make our own web experiences more cohesive?

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