Posted by Mary Fletcher Jones
So the race for the Presidency is really gearing up. Without getting political about it, I took a look at the candidates’ websites. Which websites — in my opinion — are the most appealing and effective? Which candidate got my vote for best website?
These are the criteria I used…everything is judged by the home pages you get to after the sign-up landing page most candidates use, and the appearance of the website home page “above the fold” or what you tend to see of the website on a desktop computer without having to scroll down.
Most Appealing Website: Michelle Bachman
Michelle Bachmann, hands down, has the most visually attractive and best designed website of the group. The Obama team has a lot of work to do (I think they should have come up with a fresh new graphic for 2012, but that is the least of the website’s issues), and Jon Huntsman’s website is clearly the worst appearing. Newt Gingrich has the best campaign graphic of the bunch, and the website really isn’t bad at all, but it’s awful heavy on the “all-caps” which makes it appear a bit aggressive (which may have been intentional). Mitt Romney’s website doesn’t do much for me except for the iconic navigation, which is truly well-designed and functional. However, it is more eye-catching than the Obama website. All of them are, except the truly lame Huntsman site.
Sigh. Listen, I told you this was not about politics. I have to call it as I see it.
Most Effective Use of Home Page Video: Michelle Bachmann
In my opinion, a political candidacy website has to have viewable video, preferably YouTube video, on the front home page, above the fold.
Obama 2012 and Huntsman missed the boat on this. Completely. Michelle Bachmann, once again, rocked it with the absolute best use of video on the home page of all the major candidates. Perry comes in at a distant second because the video is right in the fold and is so small. Both Romney and Gingrich opted for large images that link to videos played on another page. That’s okay…but I really like that video player right on the home page.
Best Placement of Social Media Links: Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann took this category by a landslide. Say what you will about the Tea Party but they really do get social media. The other candidates don’t even rate, except, again for Newt Gingrich. To find any Obama social media links you have to scroll way down. Not good! Romney, Huntsman, and Perry didn’t have them above the fold, either. Not a swift move, dudes: don’t discount Facebook and Twitter in this race!