Even if a presidential campaign can not be compared with normal marketing operations, its lessons are extremely valuable. Last MIMA event was a great opportunity to hear perspective of Scott Thomas on the Obama campaign – a perspective from a design standpoint. The campaign truly accomplished its goal to “go where the people are.”
The most interesting ideas from my perspective:
- “Killing the fold” on the home page. The designers decided not to limit themselves by the attempt to fit all important information “above the fold” of the home page and linked it to other portions of the site. Too much of the information was important; the links would be too small and difficult to click. The designers gave more “space” to the information, but abandoned the fold. However, the home page of the site was designed to hint that something exist below, encouraging people to scroll. Site visitors scrolled.
- Importance of collaboration. Designers worked with developers; designers worked with web analysts. The decisions on which web initiatives received more attention were based on traffic analysis.
- At the point when the goal was to encourage people to register to vote, Obama branding became unimportant for the task. The goal was registration, not choice of the candidate at that point.
- The campaign had surprising level of trust… The campaign hired passionate people who were experts in their field and allowed them to do their job without intruding into minor details. The designers, in their own turn, allowed other designers to participate in their efforts – they posted necessary files for local organizations to create their own materials.
- Analytics and testing. The designers tested everything possibly (buttons shapes, colors, wording etc.) and based design decisions on the results of the site use that came from the analysts.
- To succeed, the site should be constantly evolving…