If you missed it in between the sickening wave of green and red profile picture changes and vomit inducing comments, the major parties also kicked off their websites listing all their policies! You can find those here for STAR and here for Launch.

I stalked through every page to find all the embarrassing details and fuckups these policy pages hold in order to publicly name and shame. As fun as that is, I also talked to an actual graphic designer friend who gave Pelican some genuine feedback to pass on about being less shit in your website design.

We’ll be writing up a piece on all things policy very soon, so for now we’ll focus on the sites themselves and the things that jump out.

Let’s start with Launch.

  • The first thing to hit me is the $2 middies policy. This is surely the $10 jugs controversy of 2018 and I am very keen to see whether or not it is actually feasible.
  • Fix the typo in your Food and Drink section Launch.
  • These drop down sections are really annoying.
  • There’s also some stuff about bike sharing on campus and even Albany gets its own section! We still care about you Albany.
  • The profiles of the Office Bearers are pretty BARE (submissions due October 1st) with nothing but a photo and the position they are running for. It’s a bit sparse on details at first glance and could really do with a little bit more on the candidates.
  • There’s also a fun little tab for postal voting and one on where to vote that doesn’t seem to work.
  • They’ve even got a countdown clock so you know when to take off with Launch! Did the Space Shuttle Challenger have a countdown clock?

STAR on the other hand have gone all out on this website, and I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing. As a result of simply having more information on their website, there’s more for me to pick at! There’s nothing nuts jumping out at me policy-wise, but keep your eyes peeled for our policy article very soon.

What is jumping out at me is the absolutely polar opposite approach to candidate profiles that STAR have taken. While Launch are maybe a bit too sparse on candidate info, STAR have certainly gone overboard. The ‘Meet Our Candidates’ tab gives the pitch and short uni resume of 100 OGC candidates. It’s a bit too much.

Beyond this, there’s also an ‘Our Achievements’ tab, tying the current STAR cohort to the successes and failures of Guild’s as far back as 2016. It’s maybe a tad rose-tinted to list all the successes of the last three Guilds without touching on a single thing that went wrong. We also get to look at the ridiculous subcommittees and club resumes of far too many candidates which no one has any interest or time to look at.

Except that I did and it turns out that unless Roshni Kaila (current Women’s Officer) was also the Vice-president of UWAnime, there may be some mistakes in here. We reached out to Roshni for comment and she said, “OMG私はアニメが大好き” so who knows!

When I checked, I was also met with a sneaky ‘lorem ipsum’ placeholder text for policies on international students and the School of Indigenous Studies. Make of that what you will! (The international section has since been updated, but not the latter). Lastly, STAR have both the 2018 and 2017 UWA Labor Presidents running with them, as well as the current VP, Treasurer and four fresher reps. Again, STAR made this easy for me by allowing me to just Command + F ‘Labor’ and be good to go. The inverse is very much likely to be true for Launch.

Time for graphic design criticism!

For starters, both parties have used a website hosting service. Squarespace for STAR and Wix for Launch. Now it seems like Launch opted for the free version of the app judging by the big advertising banner along the top of the page. It works pretty terribly on phones so if you’re planning on browsing lots of fun policy, do it on a desktop. When you look at it on a phone, Krisen Shah appears as Bradan Sonnendecker or Bradan Sonnendecker appears as Nikayla Moodley. Basically no one is in the right spot, it’s a mess please fix it because it is very confusing.

Our graphic designer friend reckons that at first glance on desktop however, the Launch one comes out on top. The colour scheme is more full on, there’s a clear logo presence and it’s easier to navigate. Fuck these dropdowns are finicky though.

For STAR the story is a bit different. The main pic on the STAR homepage is as uninspiring as they come, with no logo presence or clear idea beyond a lowkey blurry photo of the candidates. The main thing from our graphic design expert is that it’s generic as all hell. Could be absolutely anyone’s website.

Unlike Launch, the mobile version of the STAR website reads well because it forces all the text into one column so it’s a lot easier to read. However the use of serif type is, I am told, a big no-no.

Graphic design take-away: Please be less generic, make sure your mobile version works well! STAR better on mobile but worse on desktop, Launch better on desktop but worse on mobile. Both parties should invest in a decent graphic designer or even just a monkey who can use website templates better.

Cormac take-away: Launch probably need more happening here but STAR need to figure out what is actually important and what isn’t cause there is waaay too much happening on this website.

Stay tuned for more.

Cormac Power

Note that some of these errors may have been corrected as of reading, but were not fixed at point of Blackout lifting (7th September, 5pm)

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