Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Usability on the 2008 Campaign Trail

Evaluating candidates websites - just for fun ...

"After reading “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug and “Prioritizing Web Usability” by Jakob Neilsen, I became inspired. I thought it might be fun to do a little user testing of my own on this year’s campaign trail. Since usability is concerned with how easy, effective and efficient a user’s interaction is with a particular website, I thought I’d see which candidate (in my view) had the most user-friendly website. In creating a usability test for this xercise, I tried to think about what tasks most voters in America might be interested in doing while visiting the websites. Here are the 3 tasks I finally decided to try on each site:

1) Find out the latest news on campaign’s progress

2) Find out how to join or contribute to the campaign

3) Find out the candidates policy on the economy

Then I scored each site (5 points possible) on the following:

1) Overall design

2) Content

3) Structure

4) Navigation

Here are my results:

John McCain


User is greeted by an opening screen asking for your email address, but the site does provide a click thru to the main homepage if you do not choose to share your email info. The main homepage is nicely laid out, with a good text/background contrast making the site easy to read. Page is divided into clear sections and joining the campaign and donating are both clearly indicated on the top right. There is a news box on the main page with links to John McCain’s most recent statements as well as links to press releases, news and speeches. His position on the economy was easily found on a dropdown menu at the top of the main page which allowed a voter to click through and read his stance on various tax and economic issues. Overall a nice site with all information easy to find at a glance. Overall score – 24/25"    (Continued via Deb’s APOC Weblog)    [Usability Resources]


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