There is a lot of buzz about the new GOP website today. Most notably is the fact that the site is incomplete. Ben Smith points out that the “future leaders” page is still blank. While there is a certain level of snark to this, being in the web development field myself I can’t really point and laugh. That is just the nature of the beast after all.
One thing I will point out that is a major fail in this new design is the fact that when you hit their home page you are quickly startled by Michael Steele walking onto your screen and talking. I don’t know who came up with this idea, but this is a major no-no in the world of web development. Even sites that offer advertising with audio generally state that the audio must be “user initiated”. People don’t want to open up a site then get startled by a bunch of talk.
Overall the feel of the new site is rather amateurish. Its hard on the eyes and the amount of red is just too much, as well as very harsh. I still prefer the democrats.org site, not for partisan reasons, but rather from a usability stand point. Its easy on the eyes, easy to find what you want and you don’t have people talking to you.
But that only scratches what you see on the outside. On the inside far more errors occurred that made it look like amateur hour:
In their haste to get their new Web site up and running, the Republican Party has posted online a slew of things you wouldn’t normally expect.
Such as instructions on how to operate the Web site.
In checking to see who was in the New York State section of the site, (in addition to the other gaffes people have noted) we noticed three members. One was the “rnc-admin.”
Curious, we clicked. And there, we found, and downloaded, the “ForumsAdministrationDocumentation,” the “ForumsUserGuide,” and the “Admin_Guide,” among other things.
Oh, and Chairman Steele? You might want to have someone change that gmail account log-in and password.
Items like that are number one on the list of “how to push away future members from our site”. Perhaps that’s why they took the drastic step of Michael Steele talking about bringing in developers. They most likely parted ways with a bunch today.
My overall impression of the new GOP site is that they want to try and be like Barack but have failed miserably.