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Proposed Website Redesign: Howard County, MD Board of Elections

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Proposed website redesign for the Howard County Maryland Board of Elections website, http://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments.aspx?id=4294968268. ...

Proposed website redesign for the Howard County Maryland Board of Elections website, http://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments.aspx?id=4294968268.

Presentation delivered to Dr. Kathryn Summers at the University of Baltimore in her Information Architecture class at the end of the spring 2012 semester.

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  • Jenny Howard County is located in central Maryland, west of Baltimore, and north east of Washington, DC. Location… They have five County Council Districts.
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Proposed Website Redesign: Howard County, MD Board of Elections Proposed Website Redesign: Howard County, MD Board of Elections Presentation Transcript

  • Howard County Board of Elections: Website Redesign Prepared by Jennifer Dellava, Nicole Kerber, Melda Washington IDIA 630 | Dr. Kathryn Summers | University of Baltimore May 9, 2012
  • AgendaIntroduction • Howard County Statistics • Major Goals of Howard County Website Users • Personas SummaryMethodology • Web Analytics • Content Inventory • Card Sort Overview
  • Agenda (cont.)Recommendations • Proposed Information Architecture • SitemapDeliverables • Wireframes • Process Flows • Personas/Scenarios
  • INTRODUCTION
  • Howard County
  • Howard County StatisticsPopulation: 287,085Population increase from 2000 to 2010: 15.8%People under 18: 26%People over 65: 10.1%Female: 51%Race: • 62.2% White • 17.5% Black • 5.8% Hispanic or Latino
  • Howard County Statistics (cont.)Speak at least two languages at home: 21.4%High school graduates: 94.6%Bachelor’s degree or higher: 58.3%Homeowners: 74.7%Veterans: 19,332Median household income: $103,273Square miles: 250.4People per square mile: 1,144.9
  • Major GoalsVoters • Register to vote, verify registration, or modify registration record • Identify poll locations and hours of operation • Obtain information about special needs voting, absentee voting, provisional voting, etc. • View election calendar • Learn about candidates • Obtain information about getting involved in election events in the community
  • Major Goals (cont.)Candidates • Obtain information about running for office including campaign funding • View election calendar with deadlines • Learn about election community eventsResearchers • Research previous election results • Learn about the Board of Elections
  • Personas Summary Kellie Yates Yvonne McIntyre Peter Samuels Frank Miller First Time Voter Disabled Senior Absentee Voter Board MemberI registered to vote at the I’m going to get out there It’s important for me to The idea of an election isage of 16 and can’t wait to and make my gray vote exercise my more interesting than thefinally cast my first ballot count! rights, especially my right election itself...The act ofin the 2012 Election! to vote, when I am voting is the defining Occupation: Retired, glass overseas. moment.Occupation: Student artistAge: 19 Age: 62 Occupation: Mechanical Occupation: Director ofGoals: Find her polling Goals: Find out when the Engineer and Solder the Board of Electionsplace location, poll closing polls are the least Age: 26 Age: 40time, what to bring, and crowded, parking Goals: Submit a vote as an Goals: Maintain andinformation about availability, and how the absentee voter from update electioncandidates. voting equipment works. overseas. information.
  • METHODOLOGY
  • Web Analytics
  • Content Inventory
  • Content Inventory (cont.)Navigation problems • Primary navigation consists of Board of Elections, Highlights, and In This Section o These categories are vague; it’s not clear what information the user can find in each category o All pages/departments use this navigation scheme because the site uses a Content Management System o This navigation is located on the right side of the screen • Navigation at the bottom uses indistinct icons with no text
  • Content Inventory (cont.) • Navigation on the left side is not related to the Board of ElectionsOrganizational problems • Pages are labeled differently from page to page • The same information resides in several different parts of the siteGeneral Observations • Broken links • Outdated content
  • Card Sort Overview Category Participants Total items Unique items Agreement About Board of 31 197 27 0.24 Elections Community 31 160 22 0.23 OutreachElection Central 31 282 32 0.28 FAQs 29 145 31 0.16 For Candidates 30 113 24 0.16 For Voters 31 250 24 0.34
  • Card Sort Overview (cont.)
  • Card Sort Overview (cont.) Election Law, Rules, and Regulations Vote By Mail/Absentee Voting Board Members/Leadership Voting in Howard County Current Election Results Election Results History Meetings and Agendas Candidate Information Voter Complaint Form Public Records Policy How to Get Involved General Information Elections Calendar Campaign Finance Mission and Goals Provisional Voting Election Calendar Polling Locations Voter Info Guide Election Officials News and Alerts Register to Vote Voting Districts Election Judge Notary Public Ballot Issues Poll Workers Social Media Just for Kids View Ballots Contact Us Petitions Careers ReportsThis table shows the % of times each Events Press Filingitem was placed with every otheritemEvents - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Meetings and Agendas 48 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Press 35 23 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .How to Get Involved 39 10 19 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Just for Kids 52 19 42 61 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Social Media 48 19 35 48 71 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Notary Public 29 19 16 10 16 19 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Careers 23 35 29 26 19 26 32 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contact Us 19 23 23 16 6 13 23 42 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .General Information 10 19 19 6 6 13 29 35 45 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Board Members/Leadership 19 42 23 3 . 3 16 45 55 52 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mission and Goals 23 39 19 3 . 3 19 45 52 58 84 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Public Records Policy 3 13 26 10 10 13 23 39 16 26 16 19 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 13 16 10 3 6 13 26 10 26 13 13 42 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Election Law, Rules, and RegulationsElection Judge 16 26 13 3 3 3 32 16 23 19 39 26 16 35 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Election Officials 29 39 19 . . 3 16 13 23 19 45 42 10 32 55 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .News and Alerts 39 23 29 26 26 35 26 23 19 26 16 16 6 16 19 26 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Elections Calendar 13 26 16 10 6 16 16 6 19 19 10 6 6 35 35 29 32 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Election Calendar 19 26 10 10 3 10 23 16 13 16 6 3 16 39 45 32 35 55 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Card Sort Overview (cont.) Election Law, Rules, and Regulations Vote By Mail/Absentee Voting Board Members/Leadership Voting in Howard County Current Election Results Election Results History Meetings and Agendas Candidate Information Voter Complaint Form Public Records Policy How to Get Involved General Information Elections Calendar Campaign Finance Mission and Goals Provisional Voting Election Calendar Polling Locations Voter Info Guide Election Officials News and Alerts Register to Vote Voting Districts Election Judge Notary Public Ballot Issues Poll Workers Social Media Just for Kids View Ballots Contact Us Petitions Careers ReportsThis table shows the % of times each Events Press Filingitem was placed with every otheritemCurrent Election Results 16 26 23 3 3 6 16 6 13 23 6 6 19 32 39 32 45 61 65 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Election Results History 16 23 16 10 . 10 19 13 13 13 3 3 19 42 39 35 35 58 65 74 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Reports 16 45 29 10 10 10 26 26 23 23 32 29 19 23 29 32 32 32 26 35 32 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Poll Workers 16 10 23 26 26 19 35 13 3 23 3 6 19 26 32 16 32 32 35 39 35 26 - . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Petitions 13 19 19 19 19 19 26 13 16 23 6 6 29 29 23 10 26 35 26 29 29 39 45 - . . . . . . . . . . . . .Candidate Information 10 13 10 . 3 . 13 . 3 6 . 6 10 13 10 23 16 13 23 23 16 6 16 23 - . . . . . . . . . . . .Filing 16 26 13 . 6 10 26 6 6 10 . 3 29 26 16 19 10 23 26 26 19 35 26 32 29 - . . . . . . . . . . .Campaign Finance 10 16 19 . 3 10 19 3 . 3 . 6 19 19 6 13 6 3 10 6 10 6 13 26 42 48 - . . . . . . . . . .Ballot Issues 3 6 10 6 . 6 10 16 16 13 6 . 29 19 16 10 6 19 19 23 29 19 16 19 23 10 10 - . . . . . . . . .Voting in Howard County 3 . 6 6 6 6 6 3 13 13 6 3 6 23 10 6 16 13 13 6 6 10 13 13 29 10 . 23 - . . . . . . . .Polling Locations . . . . 3 3 10 . 3 6 . . 3 16 3 6 10 19 10 6 6 3 10 13 35 3 . 29 68 - . . . . . . .Provisional Voting 6 . . 6 3 . 19 . 3 3 . . 6 13 6 6 6 13 3 3 6 . 6 13 29 3 3 35 58 74 - . . . . . .Voter Info Guide . . . 3 3 . 10 3 3 6 . . 10 13 . 3 3 10 3 . 3 . 3 13 32 3 . 35 55 71 71 - . . . . .Vote By Mail/Absentee Voting . . 3 10 6 . 6 . 3 6 3 . 6 13 3 3 3 6 6 3 . 3 3 6 29 3 . 39 58 71 81 77 - . . . .Voter Complaint Form . . . 10 3 . 10 3 3 . 3 . . 6 3 6 3 10 6 . 6 3 3 13 29 . . 42 55 71 77 81 84 - . . .Register to Vote 3 3 6 3 6 3 10 3 3 6 3 . . 6 3 3 6 6 6 . 3 3 6 3 35 3 . 39 68 68 71 77 84 81 - . .Voting Districts 3 10 13 6 . 3 16 3 6 13 3 . 10 35 13 19 23 39 26 32 35 16 19 19 29 19 3 19 45 55 48 42 39 42 39 - .View Ballots 10 6 10 6 6 3 19 3 6 13 3 . 6 32 13 16 19 35 29 39 35 19 19 26 32 10 6 32 45 55 48 42 48 45 42 48 -
  • RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Proposed Information ArchitectureLabel Changes • About the Board of Elections • For Voters • For Candidates • Election Information • Community OutreachPrimary navigation • Moved to left column • Slide down to reveal more specific sub- categories
  • Proposed IA (cont.)Reorganization of Content • Rename several content pages • Distribute existing content to appropriate areas • Remove content pages:
  • Proposed IA (cont.)Utility Updates • Header o Search bar moved under utility links • Footer o Add search bar o Remove View FAQs
  • Sitemap
  • DELIVERABLES
  • WireframesHomepageHighlights Improved navigation and organization Moved search box under utilities Important features and tasks now highlighted on right rail
  • Wireframes (cont.)Header 1. Howard County image logo 2. Branding of homepage with name of site 3. Notify Me Howard sign-up box 4. Utility navigation 5. Site-wide search 6. Main navigation bar
  • Wireframes (cont.)Footer 7. Contact us information 8. Copyright, sitemap, privacy policy, and terms of use footer links 9. Site-wide navigation footer links 10.Social media links 11.Site-wide search
  • Wireframes (cont.)Homepage: Content Details 1. Content box 2. Register to vote box 3. Find your polling place box 4. Check status of absentee ballot box 5. View Candidates box
  • Wireframes (cont.)Content Page: Find Your Polling Location 1. Enter home address 2. Google maps 3. Download PDF document
  • Wireframes (cont.)Content Page: Meet The Candidates 1. Candidate information page 2. Photo of candidate 3. Link to view full profile
  • Wireframes (cont.)Content Page: Election Calendar 1. Filter calendar by 2. Interactive Google Calendar
  • Wireframes (cont.)Content Page: Reports 1. Select which option fits your needs 2. Reports generated below buttons
  • Process Flow: Kellie
  • Process Flow: Yvonne
  • Process Flow: Peter
  • Process Flow: Frank
  • QUESTIONS?
  • Persona/Scenario: Kellie Kellie Yates, First Time voter Age: 19 Ethnicity: Caucasian Gender: Female Education: Obtaining B.S. in Political Science, Towson University Profession: Full-time StudentPersonal BackgroundKellie Yates is 19-year-old college student at Towson University who grew up in Maryland. Her major isPolitical Science, and she is also earning a minor in Communications. Her family is very politicallyinvolved. Kellie is a member of the Debate Team, and she was the Junior and Senior Class President ather high school. One day, Kellie hopes to work in the White House.Kellie is also very computer savvy and has many devices that allow her to connect to the Internet atany time of day. She has an Apple iPhone, MacBook and iPad. She particularly enjoys using her iPhone;she is always using it to communicate with her family, friends, and classmates. She is a healthy, activeteenager, but within the past two years, she has developed mobility and fine motor issues that resemblearthritis. She can operate controls and buttons if they aren’t too small, but she gets frustrated whentrying to use applications that don’t allow her to zoom in or increase the text or page size.
  • Persona/Scenario: Kellie (cont.)GoalsKellie received her provisional voting card at the age of 16 and sheis excited to vote for the first time in theHoward County 2012 Elections. She needs to know a few important details for election day. She alreadyknows that she will be on campus the day of the election, which makes her nervous because the drive homewill be at least an hour, depending on traffic. Also, she’s working a group project for class, so she doesn’tknow what time she’ll be able to leave campus. She’s excited to be a part of the election process, butfirst, she needs to be prepared with the following information: Where her polling place is located The latest possible time she is able to vote If she needs to bring anything with her to vote Last minute candidate information because she wants to be confident in her decisionScenario:Kellie has the Howard County Board of Elections website bookmarked on her iPhone. She visits the site forabout ten minutes at least two or three times a month during the election season to be aware of news andalerts and to read updated candidate information as it becomes available. She has not read the finer detailsfor voters because those details were not important to her until now. Kellie is in group meetings all day onelection day, and she only has a few minutes in between meetings to go on her iPhone to get the informationshe needs. She goes to the homepage, clicks on For Voters from the primary navigation bar, clicks on Votingin Howard Countyin the sub-menu and then clicks on Polling Locations to find out her closest pollinglocation, address, and times of operation. Next, she clicks on Voter Guide to see if there is anything sheneeds to bring with her to vote. Finally, she clicks on Information About Candidates under For Voters on theprimary navigation bar to read last minute updates about the candidates.
  • Persona/Scenario: Yvonne Yvonne McIntyre General Info Age: 62 Ethnicity: African-American Gender: Female Education: B.S. Sociology, University of Maryland Profession: Retired, glass artistPersonal BackgroundYvonne is a 62-year-old disabled woman who was born and raised in Howard County. She attended theUniversity of Maryland where she received a B.S. in Sociology with a minor in Art. She has one 40-year-old son who lives with his wife and their five-year-old son. Yvonne is a retired insurance agent and iscurrently fulfilling her dream of being a glass artist. She had scoliosis surgery two years ago andsometimes her back still hurts. Regularly, Yvonne drives a Prius and a Ford Explorer. Both cars havehandicapped stickers. She is not too mobile and walking a long distance or standing for a long period oftime hurts her back. She also suffers from a bit of arthritis pain in her joints.Yvonne is Internet-capable. She goes online a few times a week to post her glass art on Facebook andto sell her work on eBay. She makes online purchases, mostly products for her art. She uses her phoneto text family and friends and to email them invitations to her shows. She has a chow namedSheba, who travels with her everywhere.
  • Persona/Scenario: Yvonne (cont.)GoalsYvonne is a registered Democrat and has voted in every election since she was 18. Now, with her healthissues, she feels that she has more at stake. She is especially motivated to vote because some of the hottopics are disability and medical benefits. She is concerned for her future. Yvonne needs the followinginformation: When the polls are the least crowded, making it more convenient for her to vote Available accommodations for voters with special needs, specifically accessibility of parking How the voting equipment operatesScenario:Yvonne performs a Google search for the Howard County Board of Elections. She scans the homepage andclicks on For Voters on the primary navigation bar. She needs information specific to Howard County pollingfacilities, so she clicks on Voting in Howard County.From there, she visits the Voter Guide, Special NeedsVoting, and Voting Equipment pages to find all the information she needs.
  • Persona/Scenario: Peter Peter Samuels General Info Age: 26 Ethnicity: Caucasian Gender: Male Education: B.S. Mechanical Engineering, US Army Profession: Mechanical Engineer and SoldierPersonal BackgroundPeter Samuels and his wife, Rebecca, are both registered Republicans and were both raised in HowardCounty. The two were high school sweethearts and dreamed of starting a family together for a longtime. Peter enlisted in the US Army shortly after high school graduation because he had little interest incollege and his family did not have money to send him. He went to boot camp, returned home, andproposed to Rebecca. A few weeks later, he left for his first tour in Iraq. He and Rebecca were marriedthe following year when he returned home. Peter was able to stick around long enough to witness thebirth of his baby girl, Cecilia, before receiving orders for his next tour. He is in Afghanistan for 18months this time.Peter is a Mechanical Engineer and designs communications transit cases for Ground Mobility Vehicles.He works well with his hands but is not particularly savvy when it comes to the Internet. He describeshimself as an average user. Before he was deployed, he used the Internet only for basic searches viaGoogle. His family did not have a computer when he was growing up and he is not completely confidentin his Internet navigating abilities. He still prefers to read newspapers and write letters by hand. Thetime he can spend online while on the Army base is extremely limited. The connection is slow andfrustrating. He works long hours and there is always a line to use the Internet.
  • Persona/Scenario: Peter (cont.)GoalsPeter is deployed in Afghanistan and has limited access to the Internet. He knows that the 2012 election isapproaching and he wants to make sure his vote is submitted in time. He also is not sure who he should votefor because this information is not advertised or readily available through media outlets overseas. He wantsto access this information quickly and easily because his time online is limited and the connection is slow.Peter needs the following information: How to submit a vote as an absentee voter When the deadline is to submit an absentee vote Information about the current candidatesScenario:One evening, after working 11 hours for the fifth day in a row, Peter waits for his turn at one of thecomputers at the Army base. He uses Google to find the Howard County Board of Elections website. Peterscans the homepage and sees For Voters on the primary navigation. He hovers over it and a list of additionallinks slides down. Peter sees Voting by Mail/Absentee Voting in the sub-menu and clicks on it. From thispage, he sees exactly what he is looking for, Military and Overseas Voters. He clicks on this link and sees allthe information he needs to submit his ballot. The deadline is clearly marked at the top of the page. He stillneeds information about the candidates, so he hovers over the For Voters link on the primary navigationagain and clicks on Information about Candidates.
  • Persona/Scenario: Frank Frank Miller General Info Age: 40 Ethnicity: Caucasian Gender: Male Education: B.A. Business Administration, University of Maryland Profession: Director of Howard County Board of ElectionsPersonal BackgroundFrank is a 40-year-old husband and father of three children, ages 14, 7, and 4. He was born in HowardCounty and attended the University of Maryland, where he received a B.A. in Business Administration.His wife, Anne, is a stay-at-home mother who also attended the University of Maryland, where shereceived a degree in History. Frank has been an employee of the Howard County Board of Elections forthe past ten years. He began as an intern right out of college and continued to climb the ladder all theway to the position of Director. He is consistently commended for his hard work and dedication.
  • Persona/Scenario: Frank (cont.)GoalsFrank knows he needs to prepare for the upcoming election. Some of responsibilities as Director include filingrecords and reports pertaining to ballot issues, developing an annual budget, directing the activities of theInformation Technology Department, and maintaining online information, education, and outreach. Frankneeds to ensure that everyone involved in the upcoming election has all the information they need to beprepared. This information needs to be continuously updated and maintained. Frank accesses the site toperform the following: Maintain and update election information  Ballot issues  Elections calendar  News and alerts  Information for election workersScenario:In preparation of the election, Frank needs to review all online information related to the upcoming 2012elections. He goes to the Howard County Board of Elections homepage, which is saved as a favorite on hisdesktop. He selects Election Information from the primary navigation. He then clicks on Ballot Issues fromthe sub-menu and reviews this page’s content, looking for any changes that need to be made. Then he clickson Election Calendarwhere he changes a deadline and adds a community event. He clicks on News &Alerts, which needs to be updated daily, and enters the daily stories. Finally, Frank clicks on Election Workersto verify that the feedback form available to volunteers is the most current version and that all otherinformation for current and prospective poll workers is up-to-date.