Looking for design opinions on my new site

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for subjective design opinions and I was hoping you wouldn't mind sharing your thoughts. I'm working on a site called Track Your Candidate (prototype is at http://trackyourcandidate.com/ ).

The idea for the site is it aggregates news coverage on U.S. candidates. Right now, I've only got information on a few candidates, but I expect the list (I hope) into the thousands, what with all the congressional, senatorial, gubernatorial, and presidential hopefuls. And, even later, it might be nice to extend this with candidates for other nations.

There's a red bar across the top of the interface which would normally list categories. While I could assign candidates to, say, Republican or Democrat or even the type of race, the number of people listed under each of those topics would scroll way too long to be practical.

So, what do you think I should do with the red bar? Here are some thoughts:

* Just list the most talked-about or active candidates
* List a description of the site and suggest visitors search
* Do menus anyway and let people scroll as much as they want
* What else?

Also, the widget along the side lists candidates as well (one category per candidate). I like this, because it'll help search engines find the candidates, but it will also grow prohibitively long.

So, anyway, what do you think? Suggestions are welcome and would be appreciated.

P.S. I know right now I've only got GOP candidates. They're just test data. Both parties will be represented as soon as I have the design completed.

  • James Farmer

    That's a good question - what to do with the red bar

    Quick disclaimer... aesthetically I'm not up to much.

    But... I think it'd be an ideal area from some dropdown menus allowing visitors to easily see a big list of candidates by party, or stat, or something similar?

    Or perhaps it's a good spot (cos it's quite visible) for a 'Call to action' like 'Join the site now...' or something similar.

    Just my 2c - other designers here will probably have better ideas.

  • Mason

    I like the overall design of the site.

    I agree that having all candidates show up in the navigation (top or side or anywhere) is gonna get pretty data intensive and then users will end up spending time searching for the candidate the want.

    I'd say either provide quick links to whatever candidates have "latest news" or "hotest topics" or whomever is trending on twitter.

    Another idea might be to put the candidates into categories (by region, party affiliation, etc) and throw some kind of jquery style to expand and contract the lists. Here's an interesting example: http://css-tricks.com/snippets/

    Personally, when I see a site that has a ton of content and I'm looking for something specific, I go straight to the top right of the screen and go for the search, but that's me. Good luck!