Another Day, Another Design Failure

It seems like MTV is not the only one who found that its web site was not working.

John McCain's presidential candidacy site has been completely redesigned to bring it more into line (or rather, complete alignment) with those of his competitors.

Here's how the old site looked:

John McCain old site

And here's the new one:

John McCain new site

So much for being the maverick and bucking the red, white and blue trend. On the other hand, I can certainly understand the change and think it was a good idea as I personally disliked the old site design.

I suppose the new design levels the internet playing field as it's impossible to tell the leading candidates apart based on their web sites, as they're now pretty much interchangeable. People will just have to read the content instead — what a concept!

However, like the MTV debacle, I do wonder how it is possible for a design to get it so wrong in the first place?

Sidenote: John Edwards' to-do list adds a nice touch to his site:

John Edwards to-do list

(via Design MeltDown)

Posted on: April 27, 2007 | 2 Comments

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2 Comments Posted

I actually prefer the old version but maybe thats because it was different to everyone elses as you discussed before

I found it much too gloomy, and so I'm not surprised it was changed. I wonder if McCain even got to see the first version before it went live — I can't believe he would have liked it.

The old site looks like it was designed for MTV rather then a presidential candidate. I'm not sure what they were thinking in the old design.

I guess the idea was to make the site stand out from the rest. The whole red, white and blue theme is pretty tired.

John Edwards' site is a better example of breaking away from the norm, although it could be a little 'pastely' for some.

I agree where the old design was saying, "Hey America! I'm different." If you can get past the gloomy Vietnam Memorial flavor of the site, it was effective. (though the monochrome gets boring very quickly)

As to the update, I wouldn't be too quick to throw my head in my hands, to say "there goes another". Frankly, you can't deny that Red/Wht/Blu are American colors! If someone wants a site that speaks to America, or tries to appeal to American people and values, then you simply have to go with those three colors. (or at least Red/Blu; white is practically ubiquitous anyhow)

In any case, I don't really agree that it's so "themed" as your comments would make it seem. There's plenty of accents in gold, uses good monochromatic techniques. (trying to make it classy, like a tuxedo, I think... surely there's worse.)

Let's also applaud other interesting techniques; columns using only gradients and leading lines, sensible use of negative-space and themed graphics, and well-separated bits of information.

I would rather give credit where it's due than nit-pick any site to complete irrelevance. After all, if a site does what it was meant to do, then it's effective design after all, isn't it? Even if it is just-another-candidate's-site, this one is certainly well-thought and well-made. Bravo.

Doug — you make great points. I'd never argue that the new site looks bad; it's clearly well designed and does a fine job of supporting the content it presents.

I applaud the change to the new site — it's clearly much more appropriate for its audience than the previous one.

And there's certainly nothing wrong with keeping to the red/blue theme. I guess it's become a design convention of sorts, and with good reason. Why change what works?

Sincerely I don't prefer both versions, but everyone has his opinion.

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