Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Guest Post: Why are Lebanese political parties websites in bad shape?

This is a guest post by Georges aka Uxsoup (Ux from User experience of course), it's pretty different from everything we see on the blogosphere. It's basically an assessment and evaluation of the political parties in Lebanon and how they portray their websites, and here comes Georges to recommend what they can do to make those websites of theirs more effective and informative as they should be. Enjoy.

Politics, the daily bread of us Lebanese, even the ones who say that they are not affiliated and do not support anyone, we all are in a way or another.

It's not the topic of my post but I need to get this off my chest: Political websites in Lebanon are a bad version of Geocities.

In web design, Lebanese firms do not set the trend, they follow the trends. They don't educate the customer, they follow to the letter what the customer wants. They don't consult, they just nod to whatever the customer wants.

Why are Lebanese political parties websites in bad shape?

I am not going to dwell into the aesthetics part, but more of a quick review of the functionalities and purpose of the site.

To tackle this, the first thing we have to look at is what's the purpose of the site?
  1. Raise awareness about the political party.
  2. Raise funds
  3. Recruit
  4. Campaign
  5. Engage
  6. News
And here comes the Lebanese political websites. What do they REALLY do?
  1. Act as a news portal
  2. Act as a news portal
  3. Latest trend is having "entertainment and artsy" news.
  4. Heavily ad supported
Just go quickly through the gallery to view the current state of the Lebanese political sites and download this (PDF - 5MB) short/quick/guerilla notes (doesn't even qualify as a study) of an american political party site and you can see the difference.

p.s. I really REALLY really advise you to check out this case study (PDF 5MB) done by Uxsoup, especially for web designers and content managers out there. YOU NEED TO SEE THIS. Hope you enjoyed reading this very informative and insightful guest post as much as I did when Georges sent it to me. 


Mich said...

I'm not a web desigher or content manager, but you know me... I always like to read and learn and I have to say George! Thanks :-)

Life with Subtitles said...

Cool post, which goes to confirm that Lebanese political parties are not so political in the ideological sense.
What they are mostly interested in is telling you their own version of the story/news (which is what parties all over the world do I guess), without having to commit to an ideology.
It's more like a popularity contest.

As for the shape the websites are in, in my opinion it portrays the immaturity of the parties behind them, both in the political and "internet awareness" senses.

Cheers !

Wassim Al-Hakim said...

Thx G for the post. I have personally and directly dealt with two of the sites you listed above, the one obvious thing that was prominent in both cases was that they were not willing to take the responsibility of proactively communicating with the visitors. In both cases, they just wanted to throw news and brain washing articles online. Whenever we proposed Call to Action modules, we were simply neglected.
This might have happened because of budget constraints or political ones. In all cases, I agree with George.. Its time political parties take their portals to the second level.

The Cat said...

You can also check my study (in arabic) on political parties website here:

Or get the pdf from:


UxSoup said...

thank you all!

Wassim: it is really major problem, in a more profound study that goes offline, one particular political party (which I won't name unless we are sitting for a coffee you and me) is doing what they should do online too.

Campaigning, recruiting, promoting, the whole deal! and to be honest, I think that agencies should really guide them and show them by the numbers and facts what they should be doing.

How many times one walked in to buy a shirt and the salesperson told him/her no this does not suit you, try this one instead and it actually worked? ;)

Liliane said...

Hi "The Cat", thanks a lot for linking to this, I just shared it on LebanonAggregator's facebook page

Thanks Mich, Fady and Wassim for your input. Totally agree :)

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