Super powers that could change the world
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Super powers that could change the world

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This is my call-to-action from Webvisions 2011 to get more people who are in UX and web design involved in civic projects.

This is my call-to-action from Webvisions 2011 to get more people who are in UX and web design involved in civic projects.

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  • \n
  • We know that uninformed design decisions cause problems in the stuff we use *and* work on every day. \n [Click] But most of us don’t think about how bad design in elections actually affects whether people can vote the way they intend. \n And when people can’t vote as they intend, world peace is at stake. \n \n
  • You might be thinking, Well, *I’m* smart. I know how to vote. I know how to mark the ballot. I know how to cast my vote. And *my* family, *my* friends -- they’re okay, too. \n But you’re not. \n They’re not. \n [CLICK.] Everyone makes mistakes. Usually without knowing it. \n Some populations are more vulnerable than others. First time voters.Minority voters.Elderly voters.People who didn’t finish high school. \n All have a harder time when ballots are poorly designed. \n
  • The discussion of design in elections started here. \nEven though the discussion was hijacked by technology vendors and security wonks, the problem has always been about design. \n\nBallot design.\n\nThis ballot met legal requirements. It used cheap, old technology, but that wan’t the problem. The system wasn’t hacked. \n\nLook at it. This is one world-changing BAD design. \n\nThis is the notorious butterfly ballot used in Palm Beach County, Florida in the 2000 presidential election. \n
  • [click] If you want to vote for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman, which hole do you punch? \n\n[click] THOUSANDS of voters thought it was the 2nd. \n\n[click] It’s the 3rd. \n\n
  • [click] If you want to vote for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman, which hole do you punch? \n\n[click] THOUSANDS of voters thought it was the 2nd. \n\n[click] It’s the 3rd. \n\n
  • [click] If you want to vote for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman, which hole do you punch? \n\n[click] THOUSANDS of voters thought it was the 2nd. \n\n[click] It’s the 3rd. \n\n
  • \nThe 2nd hole actually casts a vote for Pat Buchanan. \n
  • All because someone in the Palm Beach County election department wanted to do good by her voters. She wanted to make it easier for her many older voters to read and use the ballot. \n\nHow? She increased the type size from the normal one used in this ballot template. \nThe normal ballot template would keep all the candidates on one page. \n\nIncreasing the type size created the interlaced butterfly effect. \n\nAll from the good intentions of a truly wonderful public administrator, \nworking with limited data,\nno usability testing, \nand no real design training. \n
  • The outcome? \n\nThe Supreme Court stopped the recount of ballots and appointed [Click] George Bush 43rd president of the United States. \n\nNothing like this had ever happened in US history. \n\n
  • It keeps happening. \n\nEven though every state has new voting systems since 2000, we still see design failures. \n
  • This is an electronic ballot from Sarasota County in 2006. \n\nAbout 15% of voters -- around 18,000 -- neglected to vote for congressional representative. Why? There was nothing wrong with the hardware or software. The system was not hacked. \n\nIt comes down to poor ballot design. Voters went directly to the state race to vote for governor. [Click] Bypassing representative in what looks like a banner. [click]\n\n\nThe Republican won by 380 votes. \n\n\n
  • This is an electronic ballot from Sarasota County in 2006. \n\nAbout 15% of voters -- around 18,000 -- neglected to vote for congressional representative. Why? There was nothing wrong with the hardware or software. The system was not hacked. \n\nIt comes down to poor ballot design. Voters went directly to the state race to vote for governor. [Click] Bypassing representative in what looks like a banner. [click]\n\n\nThe Republican won by 380 votes. \n\n\n
  • Vern Buchanan, the winner, is now on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax code, trade, health care, and social security. \n
  • Why. Is this. SO hard. \n\nWell, just like happens with the designs you work on every day, there are interacting constraints. \n\n[Click] Voting system technology is right out of the mid 1990s. \n\n[Click] Design elements - typefaces, font sizes, instruction wording, grid and layout -- are often embedded in election law. \n\n[Click] Electronic voting systems are expensive to maintain and store. Paper ballots cost money to print, process, and mail. \n
  • Why. Is this. SO hard. \n\nWell, just like happens with the designs you work on every day, there are interacting constraints. \n\n[Click] Voting system technology is right out of the mid 1990s. \n\n[Click] Design elements - typefaces, font sizes, instruction wording, grid and layout -- are often embedded in election law. \n\n[Click] Electronic voting systems are expensive to maintain and store. Paper ballots cost money to print, process, and mail. \n
  • Why. Is this. SO hard. \n\nWell, just like happens with the designs you work on every day, there are interacting constraints. \n\n[Click] Voting system technology is right out of the mid 1990s. \n\n[Click] Design elements - typefaces, font sizes, instruction wording, grid and layout -- are often embedded in election law. \n\n[Click] Electronic voting systems are expensive to maintain and store. Paper ballots cost money to print, process, and mail. \n
  • So. Where are we?\n
  • The lizard people vote in Minnesota’s senate election. \n\nNow Minnesota has a documented catalog of what counts as a vote and what doesn’t. \n
  • The Justice Department stepped in in Port Chester, New York a couple of years ago to even the playing field for minority voters and candidates. This resulted in a new method of voting and a new ballot design. \n\nAnd the first time, ever, that a minority candidate was elected to the town board there. \n
  • Voters in Oakland, California don’t understand how their mayor was elected through ranked choice voting. \n\nRanked choice voting has never been through usability testing before. There’s rumor of conducting a study this summer. We’re looking for funding. If you have $1,000 in your back pocket, see me after the session. \n
  • And, the state of New York’s Board of Elections is being sued for what amounts to usability problems with the new voting systems that replaced the lever machines New York had used for 50 years. \n\nThere is action that looks like settlement that may result in a large usability test to finalize wording for error messages from vote tabulation machines. \n
  • What do designers, UXers, coders bring to the table? \n[click] Skill, and lots of it. \n
  • You are: \n [click] Trained in basic best practices \n [click] Working in design every day\n [click] See the impact of design on users\n [click] Understand the value of research\n [click] Attention to detail\n In fact, about a dozen UX volunteers took part in a flash usability test of the New York City ballot last October, contributing evidence to the lawsuit against the state Board of Elections. \n This may be the first time a usability test was part of a lawsuit. \n
  • You are: \n [click] Trained in basic best practices \n [click] Working in design every day\n [click] See the impact of design on users\n [click] Understand the value of research\n [click] Attention to detail\n In fact, about a dozen UX volunteers took part in a flash usability test of the New York City ballot last October, contributing evidence to the lawsuit against the state Board of Elections. \n This may be the first time a usability test was part of a lawsuit. \n
  • You are: \n [click] Trained in basic best practices \n [click] Working in design every day\n [click] See the impact of design on users\n [click] Understand the value of research\n [click] Attention to detail\n In fact, about a dozen UX volunteers took part in a flash usability test of the New York City ballot last October, contributing evidence to the lawsuit against the state Board of Elections. \n This may be the first time a usability test was part of a lawsuit. \n
  • You are: \n [click] Trained in basic best practices \n [click] Working in design every day\n [click] See the impact of design on users\n [click] Understand the value of research\n [click] Attention to detail\n In fact, about a dozen UX volunteers took part in a flash usability test of the New York City ballot last October, contributing evidence to the lawsuit against the state Board of Elections. \n This may be the first time a usability test was part of a lawsuit. \n
  • You are: \n [click] Trained in basic best practices \n [click] Working in design every day\n [click] See the impact of design on users\n [click] Understand the value of research\n [click] Attention to detail\n In fact, about a dozen UX volunteers took part in a flash usability test of the New York City ballot last October, contributing evidence to the lawsuit against the state Board of Elections. \n This may be the first time a usability test was part of a lawsuit. \n
  • \nWhat can the people in this room do? \n\n[click] I urge you to take action. \n\n[click] Get involved. When you leave this lovely bubble, do SOMETHING. \n
  • \nWhat can the people in this room do? \n\n[click] I urge you to take action. \n\n[click] Get involved. When you leave this lovely bubble, do SOMETHING. \n
  • Sign up to work elections as a poll worker.\n\nIt’s a 16-hour day. (But you’re used to that, right?) \nIt pays crap. \nIt’s often boring. \nIt requires training. \n\nBut it is crucially important to the success of elections in most places. \n\n3 million people signed up to be temporary election workers in the last presidential election. \nThe need is great. \n\nThe average age of poll workers in the US is 72. You all could bring that average down substantially. \n
  • If you can’t do the long day it takes to be a poll worker in most places, go observe\n\nIf you find that you want to represent a party or an organization, sign up to be an official observer. \n
  • You can also call up your county elections department and volunteer to proofread materials. This will give you some exposure to and insights about the process. \n\nAnd you could truly help the department prevent errors that are very difficult to catch. \n\nThis is especially important in vote-by-mail places like Oregon and Washington. \n
  • \nWhen you vote, ask to use the voting system for people with disabilities. \nMost voting systems in most counties are not universally usable. \nThere is often a stigma attached to using the system. \nIf more of us used the system, the stigma might be released and poll workers might be better trained about that system. \n\nJust plan for voting to take you more time. \n\n\n
  • After the session, see me, give me your contact information and we’ll add you to these cooperative projects being done by AIGA and the Usability Professionals’ Association. \n\nWe do things like hold flash usability tests of ballots pre-Election Day. \n
  • It is within your super powers to prevent this. Join the civic design movement. \n
  • \n

Super powers that could change the world Super powers that could change the world Presentation Transcript

  • Super powers that could change the world Using UX skills to design democracy Dana Chisnell Webvisions 2011 @danachis 1 #civicdesign
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  • Poor ballot designdisenfranchises voters 2
  • 3
  • All votersare affectedby bad ballot design 3
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  • http://exoshuq.blogspot.com/2011/05/that-president-george-bush.html 8
  • http://exoshuq.blogspot.com/2011/05/that-president-george-bush.html 8
  • Design affects world peace. 9
  • Better Ballots: Sarasota County, FL (2006)One Contest Per Screen for DREs
  • Better Ballots: Sarasota County, FL (2006)One Contest Per Screen for DREs
  • Better Ballots: Sarasota County, FL (2006)One Contest Per Screen for DREs
  • 11
  • Design changes the outcome ofelections 11
  • Why does ballotdesign suck? 12
  • Why does ballotdesign suck? 12
  • Why does ballotdesign suck? 12
  • Why does ballotdesign suck? 12
  • The state of the art 13
  • Lizard people 14
  • Minorities are disenfranchised 15
  • Ranked Choice Votinghttp://phillips.blogs.com/goc/2010/11/index.html 16
  • Minor parties v. NYS BOE 17
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  • Skill. 18
  • DesignSuper Powers 19
  • DesignSuper PowersTraining 19
  • DesignSuper PowersTrainingPractice 19
  • DesignSuper PowersTrainingPracticeObservations 19
  • DesignSuper PowersTrainingPracticeObservationsExperience 19
  • DesignSuper PowersTrainingPracticeObservationsExperienceAttention to detail 19
  • 20
  • Bring yoursuper powers out 20
  • Join themovement Bring your super powers out 20
  • Be apoll worker 21
  • Observeelections 22
  • Volunteer to proof ballotsand materials 23
  • Use theaccessible system http://trace.wisc.edu/voting/ 24
  • Join our projects AIGA Design for DemocracyUPA Usability in Civic Life 25
  • 26
  • Don’t let this happen again. 26
  • Thank you Dana Chisnelldana@usabilityworks.net twitter: @danachis 27