The President of India is the highest office in India. As the head of the state the President is the first citizen. As an observer of the online trends once can see that the new website of His Excellency has some adopted some modern design trends. The new President Dr. Pranab Mukherjee assumed office on July 25th 2012 and it seems the first thing he did was to order a series of online initiatives. Apart from the redesigned website a new Youtube channel and a fresh facebook page (2361 likes within ten days, accessed on 05 Aug 2012) have been created on July 26.
Though there was a previous facebook page for President of India with 11993 likes (accessed on 05th August 2012) our new President seems to have preffered to start on a fresh slate.The entire excercise may have just been incidental too. Some interesting UI factors in the new webdesign are stylish image sliders showcasing latest photos, some new fonts like Alex, Myriad Pro which looks better than the plain official looking verdana like stock fonts. The new website even uses jQuery which is highly unlikely for a National Informatics Center (NIC) developed site.
The site also has a crisp layout with Events,Press releases and Speeches section on the home page. There is also a social networking box with icons for youtube and facebook page. Twitter is conspicuous by its absence. One can hope that it will soon be included in the Presidents social media gameplan.
However i was left wondering where all the old website contents have gone. There is no link for any archives or old site links. It is not possible to access speeches and other documents of earlier presidents.For nostalgia’s sake i ended up searching for the old looks at Internet Archives and here is what i got.
First capture available during Dr.K.R.Narayanan’s period (circa 2002).
Then the same design was retained during Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam’s tenure till early 2004.
By mid of 2004 the previous design was introduced and was in use upto mid 2007.
By mid of 2007 when Dr.Pratibha Patils tenure began a newer design was adopted and in use till the latest change.
One can see that whenever a new President assumes office there is a change in the webdesign and approach to suit the preferences of the incumbent. The latest change incorporates some newer and citizen friendly elements which is a welcome change.