LP.org Unveils Redesign for 2006

LP.org redesignI have to admit knowing about the Libertarian Party site redesign since at least mid-November 2005 when Shane Cory (LNC Chief of Staff) gave us a sneak preview. Since any embargo on telling the world has now clearly passed, I think perhaps it’s time to have my say. First, I agree wholly with what Austin Cassidy had to say:

I saw this link posted on LP.org last week and I wasn’t immediately sure if I liked it or not.

The current site somehow feels more inviting to me. The new one is a little overly “flashy” and the name of the party doesn’t have the strong look that I would think they’d want.

[…]If you look at the DNC and RNC pages, it doesn’t quite look up to those standards. The LP redesign looks kind of pale and washed out by comparison.

It’s pretty clear that there is change afoot inside the LP, and for that I’m thrilled. However I get the distinct feeling that they are largely playing catch-up to the DNC and RNC instead of taking the long view of where political Internet strategy for communities is heading: open source.

See, I have an idea for how the LP could always stay one step ahead of the competition: set-up a technology foundation that does nothing but upgrade and build tools for libertarian websites and candidate campaigns. Something similar to how AOL funded Mozilla before they parted ways. There’s thousands of libertarian geeks out here who are already working on state, county and candidate sites who could be harnessed for a few hours of their time to create the best community strategy we could dream of.

A unified set of tools means a unified face for the party, from candidate to state party to national, and for less cost and time. The effect is simple: hundreds of people working on hundreds of projects versus hundreds of people working towards cohesion.

Then again, who says we need to ask the LP?

17 Comments
  1. Hmm… I could almost swear that I have seen this layout/design before. Maybe on one of those big template sites where you can purchase a pre-made template and just plug in your info. I scan through hundreds of these things as a webdesigner and this was my first impression.

    I also agree with Cassidy’s comments on the design.

    And, as far as Liberty Labs, I think that is a GREAT concept!

  2. I am using Firefox on a Linux system and the text in the top menu bar is shifted to the left compared to the button images underneath. This made me look at the HTML code and I was very surprised.

    The code uses Table elements which went out of style in the 90s. The person that is doing the coding should read up on what is current and also should make the website standards compliant. Not everyone uses Microsoft Windows. By using standards and some skill, the website can be viewed by the majority of the web browsers and can be handicap accessible.

    It needs more consistancy with the corners, either round or square but not much mixing them. Also find better ways to seperate areas instead of having lines everywhere.

    Otherwise, the design is not too bad.

  3. Jeremy… which version of firefox/linux!? ;-)

    I have to agree with Bac, and add that the color choices on the lower 2/3 of the screen (1280×1024) gives the impression that it is 1-3 google ads. In my most humble opinion… I still whip out tables now and again… sue me…. I use them with css and cause other admin horrible nightmares! ;-)

  4. hmm… i’m in the minority here. not crazy about the redesign, but i much prefer it to the current version. at least it looks slightly less… amateur?

  5. I like the color orange but depending on the shade it can look very bright on the screen, especially covering large areas. A slightly dark purple would be nice. Mix in some blues with a picture of Liberty might work.

    One other thing I noticed was the use of Flash. Using Flash for navigation is ok but to use it just for a MouseOver effect is a waste. For best results use less Flash.

    Two columns are easier to deal with but three columns seem a bit professional to me.

    I am starting to feel sorry for the person who codes the LP.org with all this criticism.

    By the way, I am using Ubuntu 5.10 with Firefox 1.0.7. On my other machine I have WindowsXP and Firefox 1.5 which seems to render the demo just fine.

  6. And I’m using Ubuntu 6.04 (Dapper) with Firefox 1.5 (the real thing, not 1.5-rc3 which is what’s current in dapper right now). The navigation at the top is indeed hosed.

    And yes, less Flash is better. None at all would be perfect.

    I was able to do a virtually identical parody of a well-known Web site (which uses those ugly tables to lay everything out) using only perfect XHTML and CSS. Yet another testament to the incompetence of Homeland Security’s webmaster, of which I’ve started a collection. :)

  7. Slackware current here, stirred not shaken… firefox 1.5… I… do not currently have another OS to test with. ;-)

    However, it does the same thing in konqueror… and I don’t know… it’s weird… or is that wierd… ;-) … in lynx the graphics don’t work…

    I’d have to agree again with bac that the the extensive use of flash is bad… I do not prefer to look at it… for little movie clips fine… better yet… an mpeg encoded in xvid … then we can ALL share the videos across the net. And IO solves the issue…

    I am sure the designer is fine with the criticism and values it. One can hope… this IS the libertarian site…

  8. I am not sure if artistic creativity is appreciated in the political arena but the green party’s website wins compared to the republican, democratic and current libertarian websites.

    I am not advocating the green party just admiring their artistic website.