London, KY – It's almost impossible to turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or browse your local newspaper or favorite website and not hear or see an advertisement about someone running for office. Those currently seeking the presidency have been traveling from state to state sharing their values, communicating their policies, and meeting with as many people as possible with the hope of gaining their support. For most Americans, this can be an arduous challenge as they must decipher what is really the truth.
There is one thing, though, all candidates mutually share - they spend endless amounts of money on advertising just to get their name out to the viewing public. The Internet is one particular medium where candidates spend a lot of their time, attention, and money. Past polls have shown how effective the web is in influencing voters in past presidential elections. And in 2008, it’s even more crucial. With political blogs, personal and social networking websites, and major news organizations giving hour-by-hour press releases, candidates are using the web to reach a much wider audience.
One of the challenges most candidates face is the limitation of information one can share with a TV spot, radio ad, newspaper column, or a simple mailer. A website, nonetheless, is not limited by such restraints.
Harold Fish Dyche understands how crucial the web is to his political campaign. Having filed for District Judge in Knox and Laurel Counties of Kentucky, he shared that his main reason for having a website is “to reach as many voters as possible” in these counties. Besides increasing his ability to connect with many voters, he expressed other goals for his campaign site:
- Give a more comprehensive picture: besides information about his political views and aspirations, he wanted a place to include personal information such as his family and education.
- Communicate his views on the proper role of a District Judge, what he hopes to accomplish, and how he can help the community, as District Judge.
- Detail specifics of how people can support and get involved with his campaign.
- Layout must be distinct and professional looking.
- Provide an easy-to-navigate website.
After listening and gathering key information from Mr. Dyche, Skylar decided to design a site that was far different than most political campaign websites. Many use traditional red, white, and blues as their core color scheme. Skylar decided to use only a few colors: maroon surrounded by a soft, blue background. The maroon gives a strong, conservative tone while the blue helps define the "container" or site region. Imagery was also carefully researched and selected to support that the site was of a legal/judicial nature.
Careful use of typography was also considered. From the logo, the main headers, and navigation to the main body copy, Skylar wanted to resemble a quasi newspaper feel to it. So the decision was made to use serif fonts for both the headers and body copy.
Navigation is always an essential section to guiding site visitors. For this layout, the navigation was clearly placed to the right of the main content. The use of space between links as well as the choice of text was considered to ensure that each section was clear and concise. In addition, a nice dotted underline was use to demarcate between main link sections.
Finally, Skylar recreated a site banner and placed it below the navigation system. This is similar to what the campaign committee uses for their print collateral materials (posters, palm cards, etc).
Overall, Skylar is grateful for the opportunity to work with Mr. Dyche.