As most of you know, yesterday was Election Day. So to celebrate web media style, our class partnered up and explored some websites of local and national political candidates. My partner, Matt, and began exploring the race for governor. We started with Bill Haslam.
As this screen shot shows, his site is clean and well presented. Matt and I both liked the easy navigation that included “issues” very close to the top. Voters likely visit a candidate’s website to find out more information about that candidate. Putting the issues at the top is a smart move by the designer. The content is leading the design in this case. Most voters want to know where the candidate stands on current issues, so putting it front and center is important for a positive user experience.
Our next stop was Chuck Fleischmann’s site. The content and layout was very similar to Mr. Haslam’s site. Matt and I noticed the issues were front and center of this site as well. It is obvious these sites were designed by skilled and knowledgable designers. It is clear both candidates spent a considerable amount of money for their site design. Both Haslam and Fleischmann’s sites seem to really have a handle on their target audience and the design of the site creates a positive user experience.
Some of the other sites we explored were from candidates who likely didn’t have as big of a campaign budget. The following site for Savas Kyriakidis had a very handsome home page, but the type treatments throughout the rest of the site were inconsistent and not given much attention with respect to readability. It is clear the time and money was spent on the home page.
A couple sites we looked at had missing information and/or misleading links. This may not have been intentional, but as Matt and I discussed during class, because it’s a politician’s site the viewer may have more suspicion as to why the information is missing. I think our culture tends to be somewhat distrusting of political figures, mostly because we have been burned in the past. So, while a missing link or missing information on a website may be a simple mistake, it may also lead a voter to change their opinion of the candidate. When you are in charge of campaigning, this simple mistake may cost your candidate voters.