Usability and User Experience: Politico

This week I decided to review and critique Politico’s website.


The first thing I noticed is that there is very little color in this website. To go along with the political theme of the news organization, the background on the main page is white with a dark blue toolbar with red font for the site’s title and for featured sections such as “44” which is a journal of Mr. Obama’s presidency and “hot topics” which shares links to the most read and discussed articles on the website.


The multimedia that the website does have is not presented in a particularly interesting manner. Clicking on a video icon will take you to another page with an accompanying article. I do like that the videos don’t automatically play, which gives me the option of skipping over the video and only reading the article if I choose.


The “Popular on Politico” sidebar on the main page brings some organization to the site, and allows users to quickly find articles, photos and videos.  It seems like the website is putting effort into increasing their multimedia content, however they could go about showcasing this feature in a more eye-catching way.



I think the patriotic color scheme is an appropriate choice, but the designers of this site definitely could have taken it a step further. Making the background any color other than white would have been far more attention-grabbing. The layout selection was just as boring as the lack of color. There was no horizontal scroll or any transitions for that matter on this website.


The site is fairly easy to navigate. There are several clearly labeled sections, and none of the videos autoplayed upon opening, which is a plus for me as a user because it makes me feel like I have more control. While navigating this site I did not encounter any difficulties, but I was definitely not able to keep a high level of interest while browsing because of the lack of appealing visual content.



3 responses to “Usability and User Experience: Politico

  1. I agree that this website is fairly mediocre. I think the homepage feels a little cluttered- there are a lot of pictures or graphics and everything kind of seems like an ad to me. It is hard to even differentiate between ads and articles. I love reading Politico’s content but its website is not my favorite. Especially as you scroll down, there are way too many article headlines and none of them seem to have an importance or category ascribed to them. The whole thing feels confusing. (I also don’t like its iPad app, either, but that’s a different story!) Great post!

  2. Kate, I think Ying would describe it as an “unclear hierarchy”. It’s not that it’s difficult for users to find material, but that it’s not obvious what the designers want you to find. I really like the “Popular on Politico” sidebar feature that Nina pointed out, but it’s so far down on the page that it’s not of much use as a navigational tool (which is a shame because it’s such a slick little interface). It is certainly easy to get lost in the sea of headlines on their homepage, and they should work on establishing a sense of order to those columns.

  3. I think if you are really a fan of Politico’s content, you might don’t care the how “simple” the design is. But in terms of design, I don’t see any interesting design from its site. I think it is just a regular or standard design by using grids. Many elements can be changed. But I would like start from user experience.

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