In this digital age, any candidate without a strong web presence and social media campaign is at a disadvantage. This year, all four candidates came out of the gates with both those things, but just how good are these glittery web sites we’ve been scrolling through the past few days? I talked to web and social media guru–he’s got over 2,000 Twitter followers–and Faculty of Media, Information and Technoculture professor, Mark Rayner. Here’s what he had to say about each of the candidate’s sites:
This is OK. It’s unconventional having the menu at the bottom of the page, but it at least resizes. It’s pretty clean and potentially inoffensive.
- clean design
- easy access to his social media pages
- visually nice
- a little text-heavy–it’s not easy to read text that fills the entire screen and you can’t resize it. Could have broken the text up with headers or subheaders.
- on the platform page, the headings are vertically-aligned, which is difficult to read. “It’s a weird choice.”
- should be able to share things through social media, not just access his pages
3.5/5 “It’s not bad. It’s not great, but it’s not bad.”
I don’t see any persistant navigation, that’s really a problem.
- text has a better width of column, making it easier to read
- visually it’s cohesive and consistent throughout
- the design is more interesting compared to the other sites
- navigation is “below the fold” (i.e.: you can’t see it when you first open the page without scrolling down.)
- platform is embedded through Scribd, adding an extra, unnecessary step to access it and more difficult to scroll through
- menu changes on each page and disappears on the blog, making it difficult to navigate the site
3/5 “It’s up and down. It’s not great, it’s not horrible.”
Not bad, a little bit on the cautious side, it’s not terrible experimental. But that might be a good thing.
- menu navigation is easily found and consistent throughout
- included Twitter feed, not just link to account
- made it very easy to contact her
- photo on about page has her campaign manager–Bryan Strang–in the centre, rather than Logan: “It communicates something, and I don’t think it communicates something that she necessarily wants to communicate.”
- not very easy to read through or scan text quickly
- platform is an embedded pdf file, adding an extra step and making it less accessible
3.5/5 “I like that it’s easy to join her e-mail list but, to get back to the audience, statistically you guys don’t use e-mail as much.”
He’s got a dynamic URL, which means his site doesn’t get indexed as easily by search engines.
- first page takes you straight to his platform, you don’t need to dig around to find it
- pop art of Jon’s face gives you some of his personality, shows he has a sense of humour
- despite more complicated design, it still loads on a mobile device
- there’s no text when you first land on the page. Research shows people like to see some text up front.
- low contrast between text and background, a light grey on white, making it difficult to read
- all the social media information is below the fold, rather than accessible right at the top
3/5 “It’s harder to use and it’s slow and it didn’t appear at the top of the search engine results.”