CBCnews

Making the Grade

  Posted in Anu Online Posted by CBC News on April 17, 2009 11:45 AM |

How important are the political parties websites in a campaign?
Pretty important if you ask me...

They're not an option...but a necessity in today's day and age. The point of a website is to engage visitors and get the party's message out. All the major parties in the BC Election definitely do that. But do they do it well, is the question. There's no point in putting up all the information on your site if you can't keep peoples attention long enough to check it out!

Now that's what I think...

So I decided to get a professional opinion.
I spoke with Travis Smith. He's a partner with Hop Studios, a web design and development company in Vancouver.

We started with the BC Liberals site.
Travis' first impression...FLASHY!
The first thing you see is a picture of Gordon Campbell. That's a good start!
In the top left corner you can't miss the BC Liberal's slogan "Keep BC Strong".
And on the right, the site pushes the party's platform. Very Obamaesque he says!

Travis says there's lots happening on the site, some pretty cool features including an interactive time line...
But, (of course there's a "but") it's all at the bottom of the page! Not the place for the cools things to hang out! They should be in plain view the moment you enter the site.

Alright moving on...

The BC NDP site...

Good colour and well laid out, according to Travis...but he got caught up on a picture on the site.

It shows party leader Carol James standing in front of a TV camera with a train in the background. Not so bad...until you realize, Carol is smaller than the camera and the train. Not exactly the way to push your leader says Travis.

But he likes the fact the links to the BC NDP's social networking sites Facebook and Twitter are at the top of the page. But the catch, it's tiny and difficult to see if you're not looking for it.

Finally the Green Party of BC!

Way too much green says Travis. I agree, but really they ARE the Green Party of BC, what other colour would they use?
Travis says the Greens site is a bit repetitive. The logo repeats, the design repeats...you click on a page link and it links you to a page that looks exactly the same. Okay, I see what he's getting at.

But the site does seem to do a good job of pushing people to their social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Good way to attract younger voters.

So how did Travis grade the sites?

Green Party of BC C

BC NDP B-

BC Liberal's B+

Travis says all the sites should have picked one or two very specific things to push, instead of trying to push everything...which can be overwhelming for online users.

So it's a pretty average report card.
You can check out the sites for yourself.
And don't forget to tell us what you think!

BC Liberal's

BC NDP

Green Party of BC