Case Study: Website Design for Pennsylvania’s Rob Mercuri

Last month, I had the opportunity to help Pennsylvania Republican Rob Mercuri design and launch his new NationBuilder-powered website. It was a fun project — straightforward, useful, and replicable — and I’d love to tell you about why.

The Homepage

Mercuri is running for Pennsylvania’s state legislature: an important, but down-ballot, office. For an election like that, there’s absolutely no reason to overdo things on your website.

While some candidates insist on tacking on a but of unnecessary pages (blogs, issue deep-dives, etc.), Mercuri was smart to focus on the essentials: sharp photography, a compelling story of self, and a clear call to action. 

I think of it as an online door-hanger.

Screenshot: Rob Mercuri’s Homepage (March 2, 2020)
Screenshot: Rob Mercuri’s Homepage (March 2, 2020)

The website supports all of NationBuilder’s features, so if they ever need to scale it up, they’ll be more than capable of doing so without any need for the help of a coder. But by not over-doing things from the beginning, they were able to launch quickly and with confidence.

The Photography

Sharp photography is a crucial aspect of website design, and unfortunately, most campaigns don’t have it. Mercuri’s team did — and it made all the difference. Here are a few examples:

Photo: The Mercuri Family
Photo: The Mercuri Family
Photo: Rob Mercuri at West Point
Photo: Rob Mercuri at West Point
Photo: Rob Mercuri
Photo: Rob Mercuri

Well-curated photography brings web pages to life and makes the difference between a good website and a great one. It’s also something that’s almost entirely out of my direct control. Kudos to Mercuri’s team for being on top of it from Day One.

The Branding

The campaign’s branding is another aspect of the project that I didn’t have anything to do with, but that made it far easier for me to succeed.

One Day One, Mercuri’s team arrived with bold, compelling branding that empowered me to build out the design quickly and with fidelity to their vision.

Rob Mercuri Campaign Logo
Rob Mercuri Campaign Logo

With a clear sense of color, tone, and typography, the website design fell into place quickly. The website feels like a natural extension of the campaign’s print collateral.

Conclusion

The best part of this project was that we went from “go” to “launch” in just one week. For campaigns on short timelines (which are often induced by campaign finance rules), that sort of turnaround time can be a game-changer.

I’m grateful to Rob Mercuri and his team for giving me this opportunity, and I’m excited to see what they do with their new website as the campaign unfolds in the coming months. 

If you need help with designing and launching a NationBuilder-powered website, please get in touch.