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Obama's New, Stretchy, Mobile-Friendly Site Redesign

BY Nick Judd | Friday, November 18 2011

The Obama campaign has relaunched its website:

Things are looking a bit different around here. We’ve done some tweaking and polishing to better showcase all the progress we're making on the ground and make sure you have the resources you need to build this campaign in your community.

The site was built in-house by Obama for America's design and development teams, and is more interesting than it looks on the surface. Why? Because when you look at it in a window that takes up the whole screen, it renders like this:

But when you make the window smaller, it collapses gracefully to look like this:

And can even display a single column like this — hello, mobile:

Meaning that the Obama design team worked to make the thing look right on a screen of any size. There's no need for a "mobile version:" The same site will scale across whatever media you happen to be viewing it in. It's a small thing for the user, but getting the code right — to be compatible across browsers and platforms and to work in about the same way no matter what device or browser the user is using — can be a hair-tearing and time-intensive endeavor. It is harder than it looks.

The site also promises an upcoming "campaign dashboard."

"The Obama 2012 Dashboard is going to making a huge difference in how we organize for 2012 – for the first time ever, you'll be able to join, connect with, and build your neighborhood team online," says a sign-up page.

As Ben Smith notes, "The Obama re-elect is up today with a redesigned website, which is -- if 2008 was any guide -- the way all political sites will look in a couple of years. Right now, they all look pretty much like Obama's 2008 site."