Third in my list is CDA. Since CDA is one of the largest parties in the Netherlands, I expect their website to be better than the minor parties’ websites - CDA can hardly lack budget to “do it right”. The website of CDA, easily accessible through http://www.cda.nl surprises me in design. It is set up as a one page website, and even though I’m not convinced about the usability of those, it does mean the webdesigners of CDA know what’s hot.
The website uses a lot of photos, but through use of a consistent color scheme I’m not bothered by that. The website mostly looks very modern. It might look sloppy to some, but for others it will give an impression of dynamics.
Navigation is consistent through a menu bar that stays visible, even when you scroll all the way down. Menu items are clear in name and order and both the program and the candidates are featured as main menu items, making it super easy for me to find what I was looking for. Scrolling is a little bit more unfortunate: the website seems to be built up as a sum of different pages: when I scroll down, pages start to overlap. I don’t think this will have a huge impact on the functionality, since the previous section is only overlapped when you scroll to the next one (and there is no overlap inside sections), but it does appear confusing.
Lack of consistency in different parts of the website
One unfortunate thing I encountered when clicking on a candidate’s name (but it also happens e.g. when I use the search), is that the color scheme of the menu bar changes and remains changed until I go back to “Home”. It’s not so much annoying, as it is unnecessary. It gives me the impression of suddenly leaving this website, even though I don’t. Because of the use of photography and scrolling, the menu bar is pretty much the only recognizable item on the website. Therefore, I do not think it’s a good idea to change its color “just because one can”.
A similar problem occurs when one tries to order something from the web shop (completely different website that opens in the same browser window, without any way to go back other than clicking back in your browser) and when one tries to sign up as a member. In this last scenario, you’ll be redirected to a different site of CDA. It took me a while to figure out why that is, but I found it: normally, when you go to http://www.cda.nl, you’re redirected to http://verkiezingen.cda.nl, the special site CDA made for elections. Apparently, when you want to sign up, you’re redirected to their “normal” site (that has a different house style). That’s kind of annoying, because once again there is not really a way to get back to the elections website.
As for the content: I like the fact all candidates have their own pages with their motivation, biographies and possibility to blog. This way they get more personal, more “real”. The party’s program is available online and as pdf, so no problems there either.
Cross browser functioning and conclusion
The website works well in all major browsers I tested (IE, FF, Chrome). I ended up with mixed feelings trying the website on my mobile phone (Android): while the website is really well adapted for smartphones (no big chunks of text but small pieces with buttons for more info, so lots of overview), the large pictures are cropped so only their left part is still visible. Too bad, but not enough to really mess up the mobile experience.
All in all, so far it’s the best website I’ve seen so far. It looks modern, the navigation is almost consistent and the content is relevant and easy to find.
My final verdict:
- General design: 8/10
- Content: 9/10
- Navigation: 8/10
- Cross-browser functioning: 9/10
- Average: 8,5/10