The increased number of political websites speaks for the priority of this promotional tool above all others (TV/radio ads, newspapers, posters, campaign wares, etc.).
Web design field sets the must features for this niche and in this post we will point them out, as well as determine the elements never to be used.
Political Website: Reasons to Have
Website is an indispensable part of promotion campaign. Politicians keep in with the time and the vast majority of them do have sites for engaging voters. So, this is the first reason in our list – attract users with interesting content, nice design and of course the possibility to talk and ask the candidate anything users like. Another reason is that whether you win or lose, the campaign website will remain and you can transform it into a personal page or the official page of you as the President, Senator, or Mayor.
The Best Political Campaign Website: Features
This component goes far earlier than the website publication, but you should think of it in advance. The URL should include the name of the candidate, that’s obvious. Then, it can include the year of the election, because this politician could have run for the post earlier. In some cases, it is a good idea to add the type of elections: for president, for senate, for mayor, etc.
2. Personal Identity
Personal identity is easy to realize within personal pictures. People should know who they are going to vote for (also imagery satisfies users’ curiosity). Plus, the website can contain a bio page with pictures from the family archive, etc. This may also burst loyalty and inspire people to find another side of you as a person.
3. Call to Action
Each website has a final goal and there are some of them for political sites. The first is psychological, which means persuade users to vote for this particular candidate. In addition, a website has to feature call-to-action buttons. These are Contribute, Volunteer, Buy, Vote (Online Poll) Buttons. It is vital to highlight any of these by means of color and shape.
4. Patriotic Colors and/or Textures
Patriotism is the first feature a good President should have. He stands surety for his people and country. Patriotic motif is easy to realize on a website design. Textures, images and colors are great techniques for this.
5. Exhaustive Information with Much Multimedia
A campaign website should be meaningful yet laconical. Voters need to catch the most valuable information at once and they should find all answers to the questions they have. Multimedia is a big part of the web content, it gives a visual report of what this politician does for the country’s welfare right now and what he can offer further. Such website is to be packed with Vimeo Video, photo galleries, audio libraries.
6. Social Media Buttons
People share everything they like with their friends and if you have a Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus button on your page, you are more likely to appear in the news band of someone. Then, it is just the time that matters.
Here I would like to mention the availability to enter the website with Facebook/Twitter/Google Plus account or email address. It allows (both you and users) to watch the statics of their activity on the website.
7. Contacts and Contact Form
You should be aware of questions and issues that people have, so think of being as much accessible for them as possible. A contact form is useful when you have a person watching the requests and answering them. It is not enough to embed the form on the site. People will trust you if you find an individual approach to everyone.
Then, activate the Contacts page on your site. The alternative to a separate page is the Footer. This space can serve for the contact phone number, fax and address.
8. Responsive Design
Not so long ago a new requirement was set in web design industry. It is responsiveness, which means the website is available on computers, tablets, mobile phones with no harm to the content integrity.
Examples of Well-Designed Political Campaign Websites
Cory Booker for Senate
This well-done campaign website belongs to the current New Jersey Senator, who won the elections on October 16, 2013. The website has a home page designed with a large image slider. The slideshow includes three photos each with different text blocks containing bold calls-to-action. Moreover, there are three more active buttons in the Footer, where users can became volunteers, contribute, or shop in the official campaign store. Looking at this site we understand that nobody is going to redesign it. The job is done, and now it is just another site in the shelf without a mobile version.
Karen Handel for U.S. Senate
This is a fresh website for Karen Handel, who was a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2014. The design is realized in a blue-green color scheme with a white color to be presented, too. There is a large photo of the candidate above the fold on the home page. It is a needed item on the political site (remember people should know you in face). Social sharing buttons are displayed on this theme, and this is a great feature to reach out more people. It is hard not to notice the call-to-action button on the menu bar. It is colored green, but turns into red within a mouse hover action. This web design is adjustable for mobile devices.
Andrew Cuamo is up for re-election in November 2014. He builds a strong campaign and has a mobile-friendly website for this purpose. The home page of this site is done according to many web design trends and rules. Thereby, the navigation menu is kept simple in the top page area; the huge image above the fold serves as a background for call-to-action buttons as well as sharing buttons. Then, there are organized sections with text and media available via easy page scrolling. The big red Contribute Button is on its right place: on the menu bar. Fixed position is a big advantage for call to action.
Rand Paul 2016
Rand Paul’s campaign 2016 website absorbs many of the required design features. The background of this theme is colored blue and it portrays two images: the Statue of Liberty on the right side (demonstrates patriotism) and the candidate’s picture on the left (personal touch). The social sharing buttons are embedded on the page, and there is a separate block on the side bar for the Facebook Like button. Here users can check the number of followers, and it may inspire them to join the community. The layout is pretty much content-heavy, but it looks organic.
Ryan for U.S. Congress
This is a two-year long website created as a campaign page for 2012 Vice President of United States Election. Despite the date of publication, the design is done well and it is responsive. The color palette is minimal and simple with gray and white colors dominating. There are comprehensive calls to action and the social media plays a vital role on this website. The website functions till today: the Facebook and Twitter news update constantly.
Scott Walker, the current Governor of Wisconsin, had a winning website for his campaign in 2012. It is a responsive website designed in flat style with white background yet bright (red and blue) icons and buttons. Plus, there are enough media to make the website visually stunning.
Terry Jones for President
This website with US flag background pattern and responsive design presents campaign of Terry Jones, the President Election 2016 Candidate. The patriotic background is supplemented with the eagle icon in the top of the website. The front page features a content slider with pictures and semi-transparent text blocks.
This website with many red accents appears to be a campaign page for Philippine Presidential Election 2016. The side bar includes many social media buttons for easy connection with Bongbong Marcos. The website is equipped with two navigation menus, both being easy to use.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
It is not so much time left to the first round of the Turkish Presidential Election 2014 and here is one of the candidate’s website. It is done with use of the trendiest feature this year – infinite scrolling. This website is a very long story with a huge number of slides. The designers worked well on the site, and there is an extra menu bar at the top of the page. It is a very convenient feature for users that helps to open the needed section at once (and for those who hate scrolling).
Don’ts of Political Website Design
1. Incongruous Textures
It is not the artistic exhibition that you are building. Website is a tool to help not harm. That is why, forget about ridiculous textures and tell this your web designer.
2. Provocative Colors
Variations of red seem to be provocative, especially if used too much. Red color has two meaning, and the bad one is war and aggression. Even though orange tone is positive and it is the color of social communication, it may look awkwardly on the background.
3. Wall of Text
Even if you have huge plans for gaining the country’s welfare, be concise in forming your thoughts. A website cluttered with thousands of text lines will make you lose the election. Don’t turn the best promotional tool into the worst: don’t bombard your visitors with wall of text.
4. Low-quality Images
Hire a professional photographer to make a campaign photo album for you and keep the images in high resolution. In other case, you will look like an amateur and people won’t take your serious. Your website has to be solid, influential and persuasive, so try to work on each element.
This website has many nice images, but they seem to be resized and copied from other resources, their quality leaves much to be desired.
5. Heavy Videos
Heavy videos can slow down the website speed, and it may make people furious. Nobody likes to wait minutes for a page or an article to download. Making your political website video-based, you doom it to failure. Think about your voters and compress large videos or just replace them with other content.
6. Strong Focus on Campaign Store
It is a big mistake to persuade users to buy T-Shirts or caps with your name before they even get acquainted with the main points of your campaign. The store page has a place on the site, but not as the main one.
The first page of this website is Shop. The Header Video (of a bad resolution) is a background for a store section, where users can select the Men/Women Store and show their support to the candidate by purchasing these products.
We appreciate your opinion a lot, so please share your thoughts on this article in the comments section. Also, don’t hesitate to amplify the website collection with your findings.
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