The heat is on in the battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the American Democrats votes, as is evident in the global press over the past weeks. This post doesn’t have much to do with American politics though. I’m not going to say which candidate I favour, in fact I don’t have much of an opinion because I haven’t been following the story much, apart from the occasional skim read over an article in the newspaper.
I did decide to have a look at both Obama and Clinton’s websites though, just out of curosity. I was impressed. Of course they probably spent hundreds of thousands, if not a few million on their website, but at least they got their money’s worth.
Barack Obama’s Website
Obama’s website is clean and clutter free. It makes use of a fresh blue color palette that doesn’t scream “Oh, say! can you see by the dawn’s early light…“. The image of Obama peering into the distance behind his logo is somewhat cheesy though.
There is quite a bit of scrolling involved on the home page, and perhaps too much cell padding in spaces, but I don’t feel hurried into reading content or clicking on a button, which I feel is quite important. The navigation bar consists of menu items that are well-defined, with neat drop downs and sub links, although perhaps a few too many items to choose from. Interestingly, Obama can be found on all social media spaces, making it quite evident that his campaign is viral both in America and on the internet.
The “Obama Map” near the bottom of the page is a bit too large and I feel it wastes some very valuable webspace.
Hillary Clinton’s website
Hillary Clinton’s website has gone for a different approach. Her website to me screams “Oh, say! can you see by the dawn’s early light…“. The colours are stereotypically American and I immediately think the site looks like it belongs to a politician who is looking for votes. At the same time though it boasts confidence, the large headers and capital letters show Clinton is bold and not scared of saying I’ll fight you for the votes, whilst the main photo of her, with a big smile on her face, warms up her appearance.
Perhaps the capitals and bold lettering should be left to the header space though, the “5 things you can do” box doesn’t feel that welcoming, personally I feel like I am being commanded to pick one of those options and contribute.
The home page requires quite a bit less scrolling than Obama’s website and the social media links near the bottom of the page are far more evident. Thanks to the big YouTube button I found a video that shows Clinton can be quite humorous. Perhaps, some of this fun, entertaining media could be pulled through to brighten up her main site.
In concluding I think Obama’s website gets my vote, it’s appearance portrays Obama as somewhat of a visionary, it’s more quietly intriguing and less in my face.
Enough about what I think though? Which website do you prefer? Try base your opinion purely on the candidate’s website.
After studying both websites quite closely I thought it would be fun to look up our South African president’s website. I entered “Thabo Mbeki” into my Google search box, confident I was going to find a site that was going to be a little embarrassing in comparison. The search results showed Thabo had no personal site, the domain was for sale! The best result was his profile page on the ANC website (a pretty tragic table based site in itself). I was gobsmacked at what was displayed on my screen.
Not only does it look like it has been made in Microsoft Front Page, but the layout breaks, it consists of one butt ugly table and uses very, VERY limited css styles. How embarrassing!
I think it is about time the ANC stop letting one of their bodyguards update their website and get some professionals in.