GroenLinks, translated as GreenLeft is green and well… left. It’s also one of the few political parties led by a woman. One day I’ll give my opinion on women in top positions in business and politics, but today I’m going to focus on GL’s website.
What a surprise, you’ll be able to find the website at http://www.groenlinks.nl. The website is - wait for it - green. Okay, I’m sorry, I’ll try to keep this serious. Once again a two-column site, with green, red and white being the most prominent colors in the color scheme. A nice contrast and I think it’s cheerful, but in the end this would be a matter of taste.
The main menu bar is organized in an unexpected way - by type of politics. There are items for the first and second chambers, regional departments of the party and the Europese Parliament. A lot of information I don’t need.
The same goes for the homepage. It’s packed with pretty much everything. You’ll find a banner with changing information on the elections and the party’s campaign. There’s a tiny picture of the party leader with a hyperlink to her biography. There’s a box with suggestions how one could participate. There’s a news feed. There are hyperlinks to both the first and second chambers and the Europese parliament. There are links to social media and the possibility to sign up for a news letter. There’s a quote from the elections program with a link to the full program (good integration!). There’s an overview of the upcoming events. ALL of this on one page. Can you say “information overload”?
This is a clear example of not thinking through the website’s concept. Recall the website of D66. Of course, D66 left out a lot of information. But in the end, all that was left was relevant, easy-to-find content. GroenLinks wants to show everything, but in the end nothing really stands out. The upcoming elections are the most important thing and should be the focus of the website.
Both the candidates and the elections program are easy to find. However, to my taste the navigation is too basic. On the program page there one will find multiple links: several of them to topics of the program, one for the pdf version of the program, one to a related news item. The look and feel of all types of links is the same. There is no distinction between a download-link, external and internal links, primary links and supporting links. In the end I really need to read the description of the links to see what they’re about.
The website is also typically one that’s made with a common CMS (according to the source code, with Drupal). That’s alright, but it’s important to filter out everything that’s default in the CMS but unwanted on the website. E.g., at the bottom of the page with the program (well, only the brief introduction) there’s a link “Print” and a link “PDF version”. However, these links make it possible to print the page, not the election program like I would have expected.
Cross-browser functioning and conclusion
The website performs well in different browsers. On mobile, the homepage looks like a mobile site, resizing the window but keeping the text readable. However, on any other page the homepage stops resizing, which leads to a lot of scrolling, or manually resizing the complete browser window including the text. Both are not ideal.
All in all, a basic site with a lay out typical for regular CMS systems. The main disadvantage of this website is information overload. The website would be al right for existing members of GroenLinks, but voters require a much more plain and simple website. Choices must be made here.
My final verdict:
- General design: 6/10
- Content: 6,5/10 (it’s alright, but there’s too much of it)
- Navigation: 6/10
- Cross-browser functioning: 8,5/10
- Average: 6,25/10