Tricked you with the headline up there, didn’t I? Yes I did. There’s nothing wrong with John McCain’s third redesign. It’s just bluer than before with more right angles and stars. It is a nice upgrade from the last version which was not so bad either. McCain’s team seems to have Obama-ed this version up just a bit with the blues, the positive tone, the structure …in fact, look at this (click on image to see full picture).


It’s not a direct rip off by any stretch, but the McCain design team has taken a look at the competition and let’s leave it at that. I would (and have) done the same. Or worse. Here are some first impressions on the latest effort:

The silver star logo remains the branding for McCain and that Republican sans serif font style is right there with it. They’ve now added the url below it to be helpful. Or forceful. Something.

Like most modern political sites, the main focus is on a centrally located media section. McCain’s site is no different and does a nice job of incorporating this into the design of the home page. The video that clearly needs to be pushed is a Four Year Vision piece that once clicked reveals a vision of 2013 where everything is squared away or something. The baritone voice-over made me sleepy but I was then revived by clicking on the colorful Cuban Independence link and asked to sign a petition, which I respectfully refused as I’m very busy today.

To the left of the big dance number is a rubic’s cube of banner ads that magically switch every 5 seconds, creating; 1) a cascading vertical selection of issues to click on and, 2) my left eye to twitch.

The right hand side is the usual Join the Team plea, but nicely and very cleanly laid out. The Action Items (I call them action items because I’m in the biz) below are pleasantly low key and not even numbered. When did that staple of political site design die out? Was I on vacation? It doesn’t matter, let’s move down to the sections no one reads, but everyone needs to put in their own site. News and Upcoming Events are given a lot of real estate and not gunked-up with any icons or thumbnails.

The page finishes nicely with some thumbnails of recent photos that expand smoothly within the browser window.

Overall a pretty decent overhaul. I appreciate that you can cruise through this site very quickly. Except for the crazy moving blocks on the left, the layout allows me to scan the page in seconds and decide where I want to go. This can’t be said of the last 2 McCain designs. On a side note I really enjoy the Parade of Stars background image they’ve chosen. I feel like Lou Rawls might be back there somewhere.

About the Author
Tom McCormick
Tom McCormick is the head of the Brick Factory's design department, overseeing all of the company's creative work. In that role, Tom consults with clients to design websites that are beautiful and functional. He only writes blog posts that have something to do with football, probably because he is a Redskins fan and needs some kind of catharsis after they lose every week.