Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Did you vote today?

The problems with the voting experience ...

"User experience design is about designing the ENTIRE experience a person has with a product, exhibit, or thing.

The State of California voting experience starts when a voter recieves their voting pamphlets in the mail. Its ends when they get their little sticker that says they voted.

I voted today at my local fire station and - given the length of the line - observed several patterns of behavior. This admittedly unscientific observation (even if done by an expert observer) provided some immediate insights into the problems still facing the voting public.

The first issue comes about when you recieve your pamphlet in the mail. In general, the layout of the material has steadily improved in the last several years. There are clear summaries of the propositions, good use of typefaces and headers, etc.

The problem lies in the heart of the booklet - what I call the mock voting ballot. All the candidates and propositions are listed on this mock ballet and most folks mark this up with their choices ahead of time and take it with them to the polls. A very useful beast in California, the land of MANY propositions.

The mock voting ballot was put into the middle of the pamphlet like regular pages yet were not printed out like standard pages. Instead of being printed in an 8.5 X 11 page format like the rest of the booklet, they were printed in an 11 X 14 page format and folded in the middle and put into the book sideways. mistake one.

No title page or instructions were provided as to what these pages were or what to do with them. Mistakes two and three."    (Continued via the evils of design)    [Usability Resources]

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