The NZ election websites

There’s an election on – so how are the parties doing based on their website design?

(Click on pictures to see larger versions)

National is stuck in the past, cluttered but have a very crisp business-like approach. No glitz and glam here, though they do want to play videos at you.

The site feels old – and Enlighten Design needs to pull it into shape.

Their list of MPs is long long long, but at least it’s easy to find the one in your electorate. (click to view snark comments)

The page per MP is pretty stark and businesslike. No personal anecdotes here.

Labour has entered the new age with their simple approachable website – above the fold at least. Well done &some and String Theory and certain sub-contractors I know well.

It all gets a bit messy as you scroll down though.

And “Maryan Street” isn’t looking too flash:

The worst is that clicking on the MPs tab brings you into the previous generation website. It’s like a parody – only it isn’t.

The descriptions for each MP are nice and verbose, albeit in the old format and without any structure. I’m not going to read it.

The Greens are cluttered – and very Green. I like that they don’t use flash. However the news section is just too busy so I’m not going to read it.

They only have a few MPs listed – there’s an election on you know…

The ACT website homepage is long on people and short on policy, which is not going to win my vote. Not that they would anyway.

The Maori Party website is strong – but the homepage is policy free. I guess if you have to ask then you are in the wrong place.

What we want

We expect websites to have deep information, but show the important information up front. We exepect not to have to think about what to read or do when we arrive at the website – lead with your best shot.

The key content should be easy to find – decent bios of all MPs,  the policies the party is campaigning on, the deeper policy statements and where I can meet my candidate.

I, like many others these days, don’t drive much, try not to look at billboards when I do drive (a motorbike) and don’t really read the paper or watch normal TV. So a decent website is pretty much the only way for me to find out about the parties – and overall I am really left in the dark.

But there are still 46 days and a Rugby World Cup between now and election day. Plenty of time.

About Lance Wiggs

@lancewiggs
This entry was posted in NZ Business and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to The NZ election websites

  1. Indy Griffiths says:

    The points you’ve raised remind me of this xkcd cartoon: http://xkcd.com/773/

  2. Giapo says:

    Does anyone know why do we have parties ?
    Why general elections are not run on a personal
    Level? Parties are the problem.

    • Liberty says:

      You have a choice
      A north Korea type government
      Or Russia under Stalin.

      Or you can have a democracy
      It is not perfect but it works
      You need parties
      Simple they make democracy work.
      The hard left needs a voice
      They have the greens
      The Middle is being looked after very well by National
      Labour is in meltdown so hard to tell where it is. Basically hard left
      The Right have Act
      Mäori party Hard to say where they are.
      Better to have voice then being just vote fodder for labour.
      Libertarianz For the libertarian vote
      New Zealand first. Any where there is a vote . basically a waste of space
      The Conservative party God knows where they stand.
      Not all well get into parliament.
      The voter has a choice and that is what is impotent.

  3. Great review of the websites – informative and useful!!

  4. Pingback: Wiggs reviews party websites | Kiwiblog

  5. Nez says:

    Hi. Sometimes we have creative differences with clients. Unfortunately at the end of the day we can only encourage them to make the best design decisions but ultimately the client decides what they want and how they want it to look. This is exactly what National wanted so this is what we delivered. Whether or not we think it was the best implementation of their website is not our decision so please don’t criticise Enlighten if you don’t like that website.

    • Lance Wiggs says:

      If you the designers don’t like it, then why is their name on it? I fully appreciate developers have to follow direction, but part of their role is helping clients see the light.

      • Nez says:

        Because it’s our work pure and simple. Don’t be so self righteous. We did our best to convince them what we thought would work better for them based on sound design principles but they weren’t keen on our ideas. If I was an builder and you were designing your dream house, I can’t build the house I want just because I think I know what’s best for you can I?

        • Lance Wiggs says:

          I have no problem wrt adapting to client needs, but if you are not proud of the result then the question remains – why put your name on it? To be fair it’s a wider question that we could ask a lot of folks. My favorite example is the feeding frenzy that was Ferrit – not many people took ‘credit’ for their work.

        • Nez says:

          I just want to clarify that I am a tester at Enlighten and that the opinions I have expressed are my own personal opinions and not those of Enlighten Designs. I apologise to anyone that may have perceived my comments as representative of what Enlighten Designs believes.

  6. R Singers says:

    I believe the appropriate web comic reference is not XKCD but the Oatmeal http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell

  7. Liberty says:

    The Street Photo
    You can only so much with Photoshop.
    Lets face you can’t make a silk purse out of a sows eye.

  8. Matt Taylor says:

    The policy link for the Maori Party is second to last in the footer. I don’t know how you could’ve missed it!

  9. steve says:

    Check out the Conservative party http://www.conservativeparty.org.nz/

  10. Hi there Lance,

    You may well be surprised. The HQ is buzzing, with team that is growing by the day. Also, there’s a team based in Rodney. You may want to reconsider in the coming weeks…

    Thanks,

    Conservative Party HQ

  11. Michael says:

    Have a look at the Mana Movement website.
    mana.net.nz
    I’m sure they’d appreciate some feedback about the site

  12. a.b says:

    Hah, brilliant, you started off reviewing websites and then ended up just burning all the also-rans, great stuff Lance.

Comments are closed.