The driving force behind these sites was to focus on usability, citizen needs, and the information goals of Albertans. A lot of work went into researching what and why Albertans would like out of a website and I’m pretty happy at how valuable they are.
The usability and bulk of the work came from Yellow Pencil and I hope that Albertans can now find their way around government (which is always a daunting task) a little easier.
Microsoft XP got pretty a few years ago because of a new desktop image and a design icon rethinking. Here’s how they did the icons.
It’s strange (and appropriate I suppose) how all colour psychology stems from nature.
Colours that have a calming effect are Blue, Green, Turquoise, Gray, Silver, and White also have an impersonal or “coldness” about them depending on use. It’s because they all look like bodies of water or a clear sky. Water and the sky are very calming, somewhat impersonal, and get very cold. (Well, at least in Edmonton.)
These Cololurs are warm and get our blood flowing: Red, Pink, Yellow, Gold, Orange, Black, Brown. To us they represent blood, lava, or a dangerous animal in the wild.
Moral of the story: if your designer uses a lot of red. Be very, very careful.
Here’s a great article called Color Psychology in Marketing.
For how it applies to websites I wrote a bunch about this in my Basic Design Principles for the Web. (3mb pdf)
Squidoo has a really great page on the subject as well.