Whitehouse.gov gets a makeover

In addition to the sun rising in the west, and my dog declaring his intent to become a vegan, Whitehouse.gov has gotten a facelift.  Naturally, I immediately went to the Office of Management and Budget, a site I use very often, and which is nearly legendary in its ability to hide any piece of information that anyone outside the OMB might want to lay their hands on, like fr'instance historical budget data.  The ability to quickly lay hands on OMB information is a skill that has taken me years to hone, and provides substantial professional advantage.

The site was also uglier than a warthog in velour.

You'll be pleased to know that the new site is very smart looking.  Unfortunately, that sleekness has been achieved by tucking even more of that unsightly information out of the way, where it won't mar the vista.  

Why is government IT so awful?  It seems like the first thing people are going to want, when they go to the Office of Management and Budget, is, like, to look at the Budget.  Yet the budget isn't even on the OMB servers, apparently--it's hosted at the GPOaccess site.  I have, to be sure, seen private websites that were this awful.  But not that many, and the companies that had them usually either redesigned them right quick, or went out of business.  Instead the government has preserved all the problems with the old site, added new ones, and given us in exchange . . . a glossy photograph of Barack Obama looking solemn.

I am sure that there is some stupid bureaucratic logic behind putting the budget information elsewhere.  But I'm not sure my heart can stand finding out what it is.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Life as an Obama Impersonator

"When you think you're the president, you just act like you are above everybody else."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

VIdeo

Life as an Obama Impersonator

"When you think you're the president, you just act like you are above everybody else."

Video

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

More in Business

Just In