Making Voting Accessible

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See the accompanying paper here: https://www.usenix.org/conference/evtwote14/workshop-program/presentation/summers

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Making Voting Accessible

  1. 1. Making voting accessible Designing digital ballot marking for people with low literacy Dana Chisnell @danachis @ChadButterfly
  2. 2. Kathryn Summers, University of Baltimore Dana Chisnell, Center for Civic Design Drew Davies, Oxide Design Co Megan McKeever, University of Baltimore Noel Alton, University of Baltimore
  3. 3. Accessible Voting Technology Initiative (AVTI) sub grant from Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)
  4. 4. How might we design an accessible election experience for everyone?
  5. 5. What if anyone could mark their ballot anywhere, any time, on any device?
  6. 6. Disability is treated as an accommodation
  7. 7. But what does “disability” mean?
  8. 8. HAVA requires an accessible system in each polling place VVSG covers visible disabilities blind, low vision mobility dexterity
  9. 9. What about invisible disabilities?
  10. 10. 670,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been awarded disability status About 150,000 of them have PTSD 10-20% of all serving have TBI
  11. 11. low literacy - 44% of US adults low education - 25-50% drop out limited English proficiency
  12. 12. Where to start?
  13. 13. Best practice ballot design Effective designs for the administration of federal elections, 2007
  14. 14. Best practice ballot design NIST research on language of instructions on ballots Redish, et al, NIST IR 7556, 2009
  15. 15. 2007 2008 Started with best practice
  16. 16. Low literacy: beyond plain language linear reading literal meaning struggle with word recognition understanding what words together mean
  17. 17. field of view is narrow not able to pay attention to what might be coming up can’t remember where they came from
  18. 18. Implications sequential, linear processing support pages must stand alone, make sense independently headings must work out of context adjacent paragraphs must be independent
  19. 19. Challenge provide an overview showing the structure of the ballot !+ ! without losing specificity and clarity in interaction
  20. 20. Method Combined research and design methods ! Generative, exploratory ! Paper prototype —> digital prototype ! Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation (RITE)
  21. 21. RITE collaborative identification of issues in each session immediate development of theory for remedy ! Medlock, et al. Using the RITE method to improve products; a definition and a case study, 2002
  22. 22. Process 33 sessions (18 paper; 15 digital) NIST medium complexity ballot protocol from NIST IR 7556
  23. 23. Process at least 3 iterations up to 20
  24. 24. Results
  25. 25. many iterations plain interaction
  26. 26. Simpler language bolding key phrases for skimming correcting order and focus
  27. 27. Simpler language bolding key phrases for skimming correcting order and focus
  28. 28. Positive, prescriptive wording Vote for up to 5. You have 5 choices left. ! Plus instructions for marking the ballot.
  29. 29. Positive, prescriptive wording Vote for up to 5. You have 3 choices left.
  30. 30. Positive, prescriptive wording Vote for up to 5. You can choose 2 more.
  31. 31. Scrolling for non-computer users buttons at the top and bottom of the visible candidate names ! visible scroll bar, or on the iPad by flicking with a finger
  32. 32. Scrolling for non-computer users with a label that went from “Touch to see additional candidates” to “Touch to see more names”
  33. 33. Vertical layout
  34. 34. Vertical layout for linear reading and processing ! allowed more text without scrolling
  35. 35. Deselect message intentional changes ! recovering from the message Close button simplified wording important information bolded
  36. 36. Deselect message intentional changes ! recovering from the message Close button simplified wording important information bolded
  37. 37. Spacing and proximity on the Review screen made a huge difference in understanding and performance
  38. 38. Spacing and proximity on the Review screen made a huge difference in understanding and performance
  39. 39. Interaction pattern Out, with steps back Out and back, using Review as a hub
  40. 40. Confirmation message Are you sure? ! versus ! Are you finished?
  41. 41. Confirmation message Are you sure? ! versus ! Are you finished?
  42. 42. Lessons learned
  43. 43. test the language choice options vote cast
  44. 44. make it look easy to read
  45. 45. support users’ preferred interactions
  46. 46. The process proved the conventions were broken
  47. 47. Plain interaction The fewest, simplest steps with maximal focus on the user’s immediate next interaction.
  48. 48. Mobile voting is coming
  49. 49. In the meantime…
  50. 50. If it’s not accessible, it’s not usable.
  51. 51. Thank you. Especially to ITIF University of Baltimore Whitney Quesenbery
  52. 52. Dana Chisnell dana@centerforcivicdesign.org centerforcivicdesign.org anywhereballot.com/library @danachis @ChadButterfly

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