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The Barack Obama site, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen!

Today was looking like a good day. I had a few fun projects on my docket and the weather in Michigan was breaking records for January, 61 degrees! But my day was going to get even better very soon.

Arriving at the downtown Ann Arbor offices of Pure Visibility, a little sleepy eyed and still nursing my first cup of coffee, I sat down, booted up my mac and went to my iGoogle home page. Looking at my rss feeds I spotted Barack Obama’s name in the Web Creme feed. How odd I thought. I’d been to his site before and found it to be functional at best with well coded CSS and SEO. Overall I thought it was nice but nothing extraordinary. When I saw the feed, curiosity made me click and what a surprise! Barack Obama’s redesign (www.barackobama.com) took my breath away! Excellent composition, a beautiful palette, and calls to action made the designer in me excited. I have built plenty of sites in my years and this one really hit home. Here are some of the highlights.

Clean and Simple

My eyes traveled around the page easily and devoured the graphics. The site made me feel like I was floating around an ethereal plane, with soft white light illuminating the squeaky clean graphics. The information architecture made sense and I enjoyed clicking around the site. The grey background felt soft like a comfortable pillow and the pleasant blue links were friendly to the click.

Calls to Action

High marks to Obama’s team on the calls to action throughout the site. You are given many opportunities to “make a difference” and be a part of the campaign’s social media community. I perused the my.barackobama.com subsite and was pleased to see the sidebar using a logical set of icons that made the message easy to identify and understand.

Web Site Optimization

The first thing I always do when talking to a future client is look at their web code. Looking at the page source, I was delighted to see clean and thoughtful code. Obama’s site has logical title and meta tags, perfect for generating organic SEO traffic. The code footprint is small for all the functionality the home page provides and the CSS is clean. Upon digging around the code, I discovered the site was designed by Scott Thomas of http://simplescott.com, a design firm in Chicago.

Just when I thought CSS web design was falling into a rut of glossy buttons and gradients, a ray of sunshine emerged from Scott Thomas and his team. Thanks Scott for making my day a little brighter and inspiring me to take a closer look at what makes a site look fresh and clean while still being optimized for search engines. I will now sit back and enjoy the warm weather and my bagel. Thank you Barack Obama for having the class and sense to appreciate not only good design but good SEO practices and the importance of social media. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

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4 Responses to "The Barack Obama site, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen!"

  • Meg Ray
    February 18, 2008 - 3:30 pm Reply

    Thanks for visiting “our” web site! You see one of the great things about Obama is the inclusiveness he makes his supporters feel. Yes, the design is rather ethereal. Kind of goes along with the pundits saying Obama is Messiah like. We do have a great sense of humor! But his head quarters is very open to suggestions we, the bloggers, submit. So, of course, 99% of the credit goes to Scott Thomas, but we are ALL proud of “our” site.
    Come again!

  • Ender
    March 28, 2008 - 10:07 pm Reply

    I found THIS page while searching for the designer of barackobama.com. Being a designer myself I was totally blown away by this site, too. Immaculate design!

  • kate
    June 13, 2008 - 6:09 am Reply

    Been looking for Obama’s web designer for ages. Thanks for the post.

  • Rahaf Whofoush? : The Clips
    September 16, 2009 - 10:58 pm Reply

    [...] been floating around campus. Now, she spoke in Toronto with Scott Thomas, who according to this blog entry and this blog entry is the lead designer of Barack Obama’s website, which is impressive, but [...]

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