A Brief History of whitehouse.gov redesigns

During a brief foray into Wikipedia today, I found myself deposited on a site operated by the National Archives, that preserved the whitehouse.gov website as it existed during the transfer of power between George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

It got me to thinking: viewing the evolving capabilities, style conventions, and sensibilities of the website of this most visible of American institutions might provide insights for communicators of any stripe, whether they be marketers, writers, or political operators/organizations such as the White House is.

Failing that, it’s still an interesting walk through 256-color gifs, table layouts, the dawn of Javascript, and the birth of powerful content management systems.

Since the Clinton-era website was not preserved by the National Archives, I had to turn to Archive.org, “The Internet Wayback Machine”, in order to see the real evolution, as well as the evolving internet face of the subsequent Bush Administration.

Here are some screenshots documenting that evolution. You can click on the screenshots to pull up an embiggened slideshow view.
Continue reading…

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 06-17-10 · 3 Comments »