First things first, this is not a political examination of any kind. This is an apples to apples comparison of select website pages for two different presidential candidates, The incumbent, President Trump, and the challenger, former Vice President Biden. I am not comparing political ideologies now, or ever. Now that I’ve got that off my chest, lets look at the campaign websites. I will examine each candidate’s website and judge them on three separate, yet simple criteria: best calls to action, best desktop site, and best mobile site.
Calls To Action
We’ll start with the incumbent, President Trump. The first thing that we see on the president’s site is a large pop-up asking you to “CONTRIBUTE NOW”. This is of course, a request for donations. A mainstay of any political candidates website. Raising money is key, and this is a nice patriotic call to action here that clearly expresses the urgency of the matter.
Continuing past the pop-up we have the home page. We have several different calls to actions here. In the header there are several ways for a visitor to contribute to, or help, the president’s campaign. Here you are presented with the option to volunteer for the president, shop for campaign related gear, or donate money. This is a very strategic array of options for parties of all types. A solid group of volunteers is vital to any campaign. Don’t want to lift a finger, great! Buy a hat or a yard sign! If you don’t want to display your choice for president than the most important option of all, contributing money, is highlighted in a large red box. This call to action is larger and more prominent than all of the other choices. Campaigns need money.
Next, we have a very presidential hero image with yet another call to action paired with a patriotic slogan. Again, if this is your candidate of choice you are asked a second time to contribute. If the first request didn’t seal the deal, the image and slogan is there to help convince you to break out the credit card.
Finally, below our hero image, we are presented with some secondary call to action elements. Here you can find important voting information. The website helps you register to vote and find polling locations. They are trying to make voting as easy as possible, and they are doing a good job. Lastly, we have another call to showcase your support in your neighborhood with a campaign yard sign. Another great way to raise funds.
Since we largely examined the president’s home page I will examine a few of the other pages on the desktop version of the site. The first page I will look at is the “Get Involved” page. Here we have many options to stay informed by SMS and email, volunteer, fundraise, and to actually join as a paid campaigner. One key feature of the president’s campaign has been his ability to draw huge groups of supporters to his campaign events. Besides his command of social media, the website makes it easy to stay informed and participate.
Speaking of events. The president’s event page is a clear view of upcoming rallies and campaign events. Even though some event dates had already passed (by just a few hours), the event page clearly showcases the most important upcoming events and has a clear call to action, allowing those who want to attend able to easily obtain tickets.
Overall, from the select pages we have examined, the president’s desktop website has a great array of tools to stay informed, participate, donate, and volunteer. While we largely expect this of the Biden campaign page, I was impressed by the imagery and patriotic feel that the president’s website conveyed. The website was well organized, clearly laid out, and easy to navigate.
A mobile layout has its obvious differences from a traditional desktop version. Screen realestate is minimal. You have to consider that most mobile layouts are being viewed on touch screens with unwieldy fingers. So it’s important that website elements are appropriately sized and spaced.
The president’s mobile site clearly shows what is most important to the campaign, bringing in the cash and driving in the votes. Everything else is secondary. In order to drive that home there is a distinct lack of superlative information and options. It’s a clean look. The focus is where it needs to be. On a mobile website there is no room for mistakes.
The menu system for the president’s mobile website continues the trend of highlighting what is most import, donations. The stark red and white contrast couldn’t be more attention getting unless you had a fire truck driving across the screen with its sirens blazing. The mobile menu is otherwise recognizable, a degree of continuity that I find helpful.
And finally, we visit the mobile version of the event page. Just like its big bother, it has all the features. Appropriately sized down, and rearranged in way that allows for a more narrow screen viewport, we have a nice selection of options that we can access easily. The buttons are either large enough or spaced well enough that even the largest digits can navigate the page (thank you Mr. President). We are given several options for locating events by type and location. The map feature works just as well as the desktop version does.
Unshockingly, the President’s campaign spent quite a bit of time and money on their website. It is easy to navigate and clearly highlights the campaign’s need and objectives over less important information. The ability to support the campaign with several different levels of involvement is a surefire way get the high ROI from the websites visitors. Ultimately, the campaign would like every visitor to the website to contribute donations. But if they can’t they can still volunteer and go to campaign rallies. Everyone can play a part.