Does Voting Need a Redesign?

Spurned by the very recent mayoral election, I decided to take a closer look at the design, user experience (UX), and service design or the customer experience (CX) that goes into ballots, voting spaces, and the motivating factors associated with voting.

Civic Design states “Good design in elections means that voters can reliably and accurately express their intent.” They’ve put together an extensive field guide on thoughtful, user-centered ballot design and included tips on usability testing and disseminating campaign information to the public.

If you’d like to feel like you’re in school again (or a nightmare derivative thereof) and completing ghastly multiple-choice exams, have a look at this gallery of ballots and campaign pamphlets, curated by the AIGA.

Humans in Design discusses the Australian voting experience and why the entire service is broken. Some encouraging ideas on how to patch it up ensue. An interesting comment at the end about adding channels such as electronic polls for persons with disabilities makes me wonder how do we accommodate disabilities in our current voting service design in Canada? How do we accommodate people with dyslexia for example? Here’s an excellent article about making ballots accessible by designing for low literacy and cognitive disabilities. Designing for accessibility is a must have.

NYC Votes is an interesting and relatively innovative (in the realm of civics at least) initiative to bring convenience and targeted information dissemination to the city’s “digital natives”.

Although a little dated, this article from uxbooth outlines some shortcomings, “infrastructure” challenges, and constraints around designing the user experience of voting.

As UX designers, we love psychology so here’s a look at emotional factors and human motivations that drive decisions at the polls.

There are some good news stories out there. Look at this gallery space devoted (pun intended) to bringing an aesthetic consciousness to the voting experience!

Let us know what you think @umatters. Do you have a point of view on designing a better voting experience?