There are about 1000 domains registered by different departments of Government of Pakistan. Most of them seem to follow no usability guideline. Although, a lot of websites need to improve their usability but this blog post is dedicated to the usability of domain names only.
By looking at these domains it looks like some random guy randomly chooses domain name for the department. There are domains like rdcgp.gov.pk, febgif.gov.pk, qmcbvh.gop.pk There are a lot other domains which seem like random characters.
There is a very nice article on usability of domains (http://www.usability.gov/articles/newsletter/pubs/032007news.html). A few of the characteristics of usable domain name are:
- short (12 characters or less)
- easy to spell
- easy to type
- easy to say and pronounce
Unfortunately, there are a very few Government domains which have all of these characteristics. As mentioned before most of the domains are abbreviations or short forms of the department they represent.
Most of them use the name of province in them, when they could have used the ccTLD of their own province. e.g. advocategeneralsindh.gos.pk could have been advocategeneral.gos.pk, financedeptsindh.gov.pk could have been finance.gos.pk Why do they need to mention dept in domain name? chiefministerpunjab.gov.pk could have been chiefminister.gop.pk or cm.gop.pk or both
Many use punctuations in domain names making it harder to remember. e.g. sindh-katchiabadies.gov.pk, minister-wpcc.gov.pk
More than 20% domains are longer than 12 characters. e.g. khyberpakhtunkhwapolice.gov.pk could have been police.gkp.pk, infokhyberpakhtunkhwa.gov.pk, visitgilgitbaltistan.gov.pk
I don’t know why but most of the government websites do not open without appending www. before their domain name.
There needs to some government or semi-government agency which defines guidelines for the usable domain names and helps the department in choosing a usable domain name.