IACREOT - Plain language for voters and poll workers

  • 1,386 views
Uploaded on

This talk covers guidelines for writing plain language instructions on ballots and clear information in poll worker manuals. It also talks about common ballot design problems and wraps up with …

This talk covers guidelines for writing plain language instructions on ballots and clear information in poll worker manuals. It also talks about common ballot design problems and wraps up with information about usability testing using the UPA LEO Usability Testing Kit.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
1,386
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
14
Comments
0
Likes
1

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. 1 Plain language for voters and election workers Dana Chisnell, UPA | Usability in Civic Life Drew Davies, AIGA | Design for Democracy Kim Kizer, Elections Division - Texas IACREOT - Spokane - 2009
  • 2. 2 Many changes lever punch card DRE optical scan http://www.flickr.com/photos/plemeljr/61432544/
  • 3. 3
  • 4. Constraints exist State law Machines Expense History
  • 5. 5 Best practice + Incremental changes + Usability testing lower residual vote rates + better security
  • 6. 6 Design problems cause voter errors Design best practice helps Plain language helps Best practice + usability testing helps Resources The Texas story
  • 7. 7 Design problems cause voter errors Design best practice helps Plain language helps Best practice + usability testing Resources The Texas story
  • 8. 8
  • 9. 9 Key points Poor ballot design frustrates voters, undermines confidence, and contributes to related Election Day problems Dana Chisnell
  • 10. 10 Key points Thousands of votes are lost or miscast All voters are affected The risk is greater for some groups of voters All voting technologies are affected Usability testing is the best way to make sure that voters are successful Dana Chisnell
  • 11. 11 Design for Democracy - EAC Best practice is a great place to start to redesign ballots
  • 12. 12 Design problems cause voter errors Design best practice helps Plain language helps Best practice + usability testing Resources The Texas story
  • 13. Top 10 election design guidelines
  • 14. 1 Use lowercase letters
  • 15. Optical scan ballots [detail]
  • 16. Rolling DRE (touchscreen) ballot [detail]
  • 17. 2 Avoid centered type
  • 18. Rolling DRE (touchscreen) ballot [detail]
  • 19. 3 Pick one sans-serif font
  • 20. Optical scan ballots [detail]
  • 21. Rolling DRE (touchscreen) ballot [detail]
  • 22. Voter information materials [detail]
  • 23. 4 Use big enough type
  • 24. Optical scan ballots [detail]
  • 25. Rolling DRE (touchscreen) ballot [detail]
  • 26. Voter information materials [detail]
  • 27. 5 Support process and navigation
  • 28. Optical scan ballots [detail]
  • 29. Rolling DRE (touchscreen) ballot [detail]
  • 30. Voter information materials [wayfinding]
  • 31. 6 Use clear, simple language
  • 32. “A vote for the names of a political partyʼs candidates for president Vote for one is a vote for the electors of that party…” “Vote for not more than Vote for one pair one set of candidates”
  • 33. STATE REFERENDA 2A - CITY OF SPRINGFIELD SHALL CITY OF SPRINGFIELD DEBT BE INCREASED BY AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $4,600,000, WITH A MAXIMUM REPAYMENT COST OF $8,000,000, AND SHALL CITY OF SPRINGFIELD TAXES BE INCREASED $1,047,000 (FIRST FULL FISCAL YEAR DOLLAR INCREASE) ANNUALLY; SUCH DEBT TO CONSIST OF SALES TAX REVENUE BONDS ISSUED SOLELY FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES: · ACQUIRING, CONSTRUCTING AND EQUIPPING A COMMUNITY RECREATION CENTER WHICH SHALL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: · AQUATICS CENTER/SWIMMING POOL · FITNESS CENTER · GYMNASIUM FOR BASKETBALL, VOLLEYBALL, AEROBICS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES · FAMILY, YOUTH AND SENIOR MULTI-PURPOSE ROOMS · PAYING ALL NECESSARY OR INCIDENTAL COSTS RELATED THERETO, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING: · OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE EXPENSES, WHICH MAY INCLUDE EXERCISE AND RECREATION ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGES, INTERESTS AND ABILITIES · THE FUNDING OF A BOND RESERVE FUND AND COSTS OF ISSUING THE BONDS SUCH BONDS TO BE ISSUED, DATED AND SOLD AT SUCH TIMES, AND AT SUCH PRICES (AT, ABOVE OR BELOW PAR) AND CONTAINING SUCH TERMS, NOT INCONSISTENT HEREWITH, AS THE CITY COUNCIL MAY DETERMINE; SUCH TAX TO BE IMPLEMENTED BY AN AMENDMENT TO CHAPTER 5.06 OF THE SPRINGFIELD MUNICIPAL CODE AND TO CONSIST OF A RATE INCREASE IN THE CITY-WIDE SALES TAX OF 0.70% (SEVENTY ONE- HUNDREDTHS OF ONE PERCENT, WHICH REPRESENTS SEVEN CENTS ON EACH TEN DOLLAR PURCHASE AS SHOWN IN THE TAX SCHEDULE AT THE END OF THIS BALLOT ISSUE) BEGINNING ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2005, WITH A REDUCTION OF SUCH TAX TO 0.50% (FIFTY ONEHUNDREDTHS OF ONE PERCENT, WHICH REPRESENTS FIVE CENTS ON EACH TEN DOLLAR PURCHASE) BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2026 OR SUCH LOWER RATE AS THE CITY COUNCIL MAY DETERMINE AFTER SUCH DATE, TO BE USED SOLELY TO PAY THE FOLLOWING: · COSTS OF ACQUIRING, CONSTRUCTING AND EQUIPPING THE COMMUNITY RECREATION CENTER DESCRIBED ABOVE · PAYING DEBT SERVICE ON THE SALES TAX REVENUE BONDS DESCRIBED ABOVE · PAYING ALL NECESSARY OR INCIDENTAL COSTS RELATED THERETO, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE EXPENSES, WHICH MAY INCLUDE EXERCISE AND RECREATION ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGES, INTERESTS AND ABILITIES, AND REPAIRS, RENEWALS, REPLACEMENTS AND RENOVATIONS THEREOF, AND THE FUNDING OF RESERVES THEREFOR; AND · CONSTRUCTION OR UPGRADES TO CITY OUTDOOR ATHLETIC FACILITIES; AND SHALL ALL TAX REVENUES GENERATED FROM THE SALES TAX AUTHORIZED HEREIN AND FROM ANY EARNINGS FROM THE INVESTMENT OF SUCH REVENUES AND THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH BONDS CONSTITUTE A VOTER-APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE, AND AN EXCEPTION TO THE REVENUE AND SPENDING LIMITS OF ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION, OR ANY OTHER LAW?
  • 34. 7 Use accurate instructional illustrations
  • 35. Optical scan ballots [detail]
  • 36. Rolling DRE (touchscreen) ballot [detail]
  • 37. Voter information materials
  • 38. 8 Use informational icons (only)
  • 39. Optical scan ballots [detail]
  • 40. Voter information materials [detail]
  • 41. 9 Use contrast and color functionally
  • 42. Rolling DRE (touchscreen) ballot
  • 43. Optical scan ballots [detail]
  • 44. 10 Decide what’s most important
  • 45. Grid-style optical scan ballot
  • 46. Optical scan ballot [detail]
  • 47. Voter information material
  • 48. Top 10 election design guidelines • Use lowercase letters • Avoid centered type • Pick one sans-serif font • Use big enough type • Support process and navigation • Use clear, simple language • Use accurate instructional illustrations • Use informational icons (only) • Use contrast and color functionally • Decide whatʼs most important
  • 49. Resources • EAC report • Sample files and software • Get design help • Additional resources
  • 50. Get design help • www.designfordemocracy.org • AIGA Designer Directory • AIGA Election Design Fellows now in Oregon and Washington • designfordemocracy@aiga.org
  • 51. Additional resources Marcia Lausen: Ballot + Election Design [University of Chicago Press]
  • 52. Additional resources Ballot design sample collection
  • 53. Additional resources AIGA | Design for Democracy Get Out The Vote campaign
  • 54. 67 Design problems cause voter errors Design best practice helps Plain language helps Best practice + usability testing Resources The Texas story
  • 55. 68 HAVA and NIST ✤ HAVA calls for improved standards for voting systems ✤ NIST provides technical support to develop standards through EAC and TGDC
  • 56. 69 Design for every voter ✤ Universal access and usability ✤ Design standards based on best practice and research ✤ Performance standards: user-based testing
  • 57. 70 Groundbreaking ✤ First ever standards for usability and accessibility of voting systems ✤ Unique performance-based usability standards
  • 58. 71 Wanted: research on plain language in elections 2005 2006-08 2007 2008 Review of ballot Test of ballot Review of Development instructions instructions voting system of and system documentation pass/fail test messages of voting system documentation for poll workers
  • 59. 72 Does plain language make a difference when people vote?
  • 60. 73 Does clear information make a difference in election worker performance?
  • 61. 74 Does plain language make a difference when people vote?
  • 62. 75 Empirical study of language on ballots Do voters vote more accurately on a ballot with plain language instructions? Do voters recognize the difference in language? Do voters prefer one ballot over the other?
  • 63. 76 Education # of Who achieved participants participated? Less than high school 9 45 voters High school or equivalent 15 Eligible - US citizens age 18+ Focused on lower education levels Some college or associate 12 Balanced for gender ethnicity Bachelor’s degree 8 age (18-61; median = 36) Courses beyond college 1
  • 64. 77 Where, what 3 locations Georgia Maryland Michigan suburban, city, small town 2 ballots only the wording was different based on NIST DRE “medium” ballot
  • 65. 78 Ballot A (traditional language)
  • 66. 79 Ballot B (plain language)
  • 67. 80 “Retain” or “Keep”?
  • 68. 81 Does plain language make a difference when people vote?
  • 69. 82 Yes.
  • 70. 83 Participants voted more accurately 45 participants; 18 possible Ballot A Ballot B Total correct votes on each ballot Correct 698 726 1424 Marginally statistically Incorrect 112 84 196 significant, p<.071 Total 810 810 1620
  • 71. 84 Voting on B first helped on A 16.700 Very little difference on B whether it was first or second 12.525 Correct Votes 8.350 A first, ave. correct = 14.4 A second, ave. correct = 16.3 4.175 Statistically significant, p<.001 0 A First B First Correct Votes on A Correct Votes on B
  • 72. 85 Participants recognized and overwhelmingly preferred plain language Preference # of participants % of participants Ballot A 4 9% (traditional language) Ballot B 37 82% (plain language) No preference 4 9% Total 45 100%
  • 73. 86 Education made a difference Education level Mean # correct both ballots Less than high school (n=9) 14.4 High school graduate or equivalent (n=15) 15.6 Some college or associate 16.0 Bachelor’s degree (n=8) 17.4 Some courses beyond college (n=1) 17.0 Statistically significant, p<.004
  • 74. 87 1. At the beginning of the ballot, explain how to vote, how to change a vote, and that voters may write in a candidate.
  • 75. 88 2. Put instructions where voters need them.
  • 76. 89 3. Include information that will prevent voters from making errors, such as a caution to not write in someone already on the ballot.
  • 77. 90 4. Write short sentences.
  • 78. 91 5. Use short, simple, everyday words.
  • 79. 92 6. Write in active voice, where the person doing the action comes before the verb.
  • 80. 93 7. Write in the positive. Tell people what to do rather than what not to do.
  • 81. 94 8. When giving people instructions that are more than one step, give each step as an item in a numbered list. Do not number other instructions.
  • 82. 95 9. Keep paragraphs short. A one-sentence paragraph is fine.
  • 83. 96 10. Separate paragraphs by a space so each paragraph stands out on the page.
  • 84. 97 To see all 28 guidelines, go to http://vote.nist.gov/NISTIR-7556.pdf The guidelines are the last appendix in the report, pages 189-190
  • 85. 98 Does clear information make a difference in election worker performance?
  • 86. 99 Qualitative, exploratory study of voting system documentation for poll workers How should the documentation be tested? What are poll workers’ tasks? How long do the tasks take? How many participants will it take to pass or fail the documentation? What should the pass/fail criteria for the documentation be?
  • 87. 100 Testing the test ✤ Drafted protocol and checklists ✤ Recruited 4 pairs of participants ✤ 2 voting systems - one DRE and one optical scan ✤ Each pair worked on both systems
  • 88. 101 Observations
  • 89. 102 Matching the documentation to the machine was difficult Dana Chisnell
  • 90. 103 Participants had questions that the documentation didn’t answer Dana Chisnell
  • 91. 104 Information on troubleshooting was hard to use because it was not related to tasks Dana Chisnell
  • 92. 105 Documentation covered too many systems
  • 93. 106 Met many best practices but fails because the configuration is not the same as implementation
  • 94. 107 Met many best practices but fails because the configuration is not the same as implementation
  • 95. 108 Does clear information make a difference in election worker performance?
  • 96. 109 Yes.
  • 97. 110 Evidence ✤ Participants are able to use voting system documentation to: ✤ Complete tasks without asking questions ✤ Find the information they need ✤ Match messages between system and documentation ✤ Read, understand, and react ✤ Perform tasks without missing steps ✤ Perform steps to complete tasks
  • 98. 111 Pass / fail criteria ✤ Have participants asked for help? ✤ Have they completed the tasks in the time allotted?
  • 99. 112 Design problems cause voter errors Design best practice helps Plain language helps Best practice + usability testing Resources The Texas story
  • 100. 113 What is a usability test?
  • 101. 114 What is usable?  You: A countable ballot  Voter: Voting as intended Dana Chisnell
  • 102. 115 Sit next to someone. Watch. Listen. Dana Chisnell
  • 103. 116 When something changes Take constraints into account Complement to Reveal best practice remedies
  • 104. 117 Why test? Avoid residual votes and fall-off Even best practice design can introduce unpredictable problems Make it more likely that voter intent is carried out More likely to have only good news about an election Dana Chisnell
  • 105. 118 The Testing Kit What you need to know Session script Report template
  • 106. 119 The Testing Kit What you need to know Session script Report template
  • 107. 120 The Testing Kit What you need to know Session script Report template
  • 108. 121 The Testing Kit What you need to know Session script Report template
  • 109. 122 Redesign. Test. Improve. Look at best practice Low risk, low cost Smoother voting within your constraints Reveal issues that are Smoother counting Use checklists local, subtle Better experience
  • 110. 123 Design problems cause voter errors Design best practice helps Plain language helps Best practice + usability testing Resources The Texas story
  • 111. 124 Resources Usability Professionals’ Association: www.usabilityprofessionals.org/ LEO Usability Testing Kit: http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org/ civiclife/voting/leo_testing.html Ballot Usability and Accessibility Blog: http://ballotusability.blogspot.com/ National Institute of Standards and Technology: http://vote.nist.gov Dana Chisnell
  • 112. 125 Resources Brennan Center for Justice at NYU: Better Ballots http://www.brennancenter.org/ content/resource/better_ballots/ AIGA - Design for Democracy: Effective Design for Federal Elections http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/ design-for-democracy-eac-reports Handbook of Usability Testing, Second Edition by Jeff Rubin and Dana Chisnell Dana Chisnell
  • 113. 126 Announcing LEOExchange Online discussion group for local election officials
  • 114. 127 Dana Dana Chisnell dana@usabilityworks.net www.usabilityworks.net 415.519.1148
  • 115. 128 Drew Drew Davies drew@oxidedesign.com www.oxidedesign.com
  • 116. 129 Design problems cause voter errors Design best practice helps Plain language helps Best practice + usability testing Resources The Texas story
  • 117. Voter Registration Form (Before)
  • 118. Voter Registration Form (After) Version 1
  • 119. Voter Registration Form (After) Version 2 Back of this form looks exactly like Version 1 – horizontal layout versus vertical layout
  • 120. Application Ballot by Mail (Before) Front
  • 121. Application Ballot by Mail (Before) Back
  • 122. Application Ballot by Mail (After) Front Layout went from bifold to trifold
  • 123. Application Ballot by Mail (After) Back Layout went from bifold to trifold
  • 124. 137 Questions?
  • 125. 138 Thank you.