If you’ve visited the Liberal Democrat party website in the last 24 hours, you’ll have noticed quite a dramatic change. Here, David Loxton, the party’s director of marketing, fundraising and members’ services explains the thinking behind the new site, and previews some of the other exciting new changes emerging within the party’s web strategy.
The new Liberal Democrat web strategy has been launched with a redesigned libdems.org.uk as its first stage. The new version is much more focused on setting out what the Liberal Democrats stand for, who we are and what visitors to the site can do to help.
Over the summer the party surveyed users and conducted focus groups to find out opinions on the old site and want people expected to find on the main Liberal Democrat website. The research backed up the view that the party was trying achieve too many different tasks on the old site which made it very busy. The multitude of options distracted some users from finding what they wanted.
The new strategy splits the party’s internet presence across three websites, so that each can deliver a specific need, rather than trying to achieve everything in one place. The new libdems.org.uk has less content than the old version, but it organised in a much more user-driven way than before. The content that has gone is the internal, member-orientated material and this will reappear later on the other two sites.
The site makes use of the Party’s extended colour palette which was rolled out in the Euro-election campaign and at conference. This adds new colours to the existing black and gold.
The next stage to be released will be a new social action network site called ACT (previewed here on Lib Dem Voice) which should be ready in a couple of weeks. It will be open to all Liberal Democrat supporters, members and non-members. Users will be able to join groups, organise events, watch videos, talk politics and join in campaigns. The aim of the site is to mobilize an online community that reaches beyond the boundaries of formal party membership.
The final stage is a completely new members’ site. This will replace the existing members’-only page, and will give members access to party news, resources, training and information about how the party works. It will incorporate the material currently available through the Party’s extranet. The aim is to provide a unified on-line resource centre for members.