Usability Testing in Local Jurisdictions
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Usability Testing in Local Jurisdictions

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From a talk I did with Whitney Quesenbery and Jenny Greeve at EVN 2011 on working inside local elections departments. Ballot design, usability testing, and plain language FTW!

From a talk I did with Whitney Quesenbery and Jenny Greeve at EVN 2011 on working inside local elections departments. Ballot design, usability testing, and plain language FTW!

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  • In Sarasota County in 2010, Whitney and others volunteered to help conduct a usability test of a new ballot design before Election Day. The participants were mostly election workers - not the best sample, but it was convenient - at least half of the participants turned in their ballots without voting the second side. Even though the classic instruction was across the bottom. And, conceivably, they’d be the people to remind voters to vote both sides. \n\nAs a result we recommended to the election director to move the instruction to the end of the right hand column. When we compared residual vote rates to neighboring counties with a similar design post election, we found a lower undervote rate for the second side in Sarasota County than in the others. \n\n
  • In Sarasota County in 2010, Whitney and others volunteered to help conduct a usability test of a new ballot design before Election Day. The participants were mostly election workers - not the best sample, but it was convenient - at least half of the participants turned in their ballots without voting the second side. Even though the classic instruction was across the bottom. And, conceivably, they’d be the people to remind voters to vote both sides. \n\nAs a result we recommended to the election director to move the instruction to the end of the right hand column. When we compared residual vote rates to neighboring counties with a similar design post election, we found a lower undervote rate for the second side in Sarasota County than in the others. \n\n
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  • This is the San Francisco Ballot Simplification Committee. This committee writes digest summaries of about 300 words of every measure on the city-county ballot for the Voter Information Pamphlet. They are chartered with writing the summaries in neutral, objective, gender-free, plain language in public hearings. When I was on the committee, we considered what we did successful when both sides of an issue went away unhappy. \n\nWe’re trying to figure out how to bottle this committee to get other counties to form similar bodies. \n\nWhat’s clear is that the VIPs are heavily used (the department gets comments every election). Voters believe that plain language makes a difference. \n
  • ❑Take aways\n•❑When we observe people using something, we can see whether it works and how well\n•❑People love data. If you want to change how things work, giving election directors data is the best thing you can do to affect change\n▼❑Although the UPA are upset when we talk about teaching non-professionals to do usability testing, we think anyone can learn to do it\n•❑With an hour of teaching at a state conference LEOs get basic skills\n•❑LEOs get excited about usability testing as soon as they see it. \n\n
  • ❑Take aways\n•❑When we observe people using something, we can see whether it works and how well\n•❑People love data. If you want to change how things work, giving election directors data is the best thing you can do to affect change\n▼❑Although the UPA are upset when we talk about teaching non-professionals to do usability testing, we think anyone can learn to do it\n•❑With an hour of teaching at a state conference LEOs get basic skills\n•❑LEOs get excited about usability testing as soon as they see it. \n\n
  • ❑Take aways\n•❑When we observe people using something, we can see whether it works and how well\n•❑People love data. If you want to change how things work, giving election directors data is the best thing you can do to affect change\n▼❑Although the UPA are upset when we talk about teaching non-professionals to do usability testing, we think anyone can learn to do it\n•❑With an hour of teaching at a state conference LEOs get basic skills\n•❑LEOs get excited about usability testing as soon as they see it. \n\n
  • ❑Take aways\n•❑When we observe people using something, we can see whether it works and how well\n•❑People love data. If you want to change how things work, giving election directors data is the best thing you can do to affect change\n▼❑Although the UPA are upset when we talk about teaching non-professionals to do usability testing, we think anyone can learn to do it\n•❑With an hour of teaching at a state conference LEOs get basic skills\n•❑LEOs get excited about usability testing as soon as they see it. \n\n

Usability Testing in Local Jurisdictions Usability Testing in Local Jurisdictions Presentation Transcript

  • Meeting Nick Handy 1
  • Lessons learned 2
  • DEMONSTRATION BALLOT [Insert Chinese Translation]SAMPLE BALLOT FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION - City of New York - County of Kings - November 2, 2010 [Insert Korean Translation] A B C D E F G RDH H WRITE-IN CANDIDATO POR 1. BEFORE VOTING THIS BALLOT, Democratic Republican Independence Conservative Working Families Green Rent is 2 Damn Libertarian ESCRITO [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] High [Chinese] PLEASE READ THE [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] INSTRUCTIONS ON [Korean] THE OTHER SIDE OF 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F 1G 1H WRITE-IN THIS BALLOT. Andrew M. Carl P. Andrew M. Carl P. Andrew M. Howie Jimmy Warren 1. ANTES DE EMITIR Cuomo Paladino Cuomo Paladino Cuomo Hawkins McMillan Redlich [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] SU VOTO CON [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] ESTA PAPELETA, [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] SÍRVASE LEER LAS [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] INSTRUCCIONES EN EL DORSO DE ESTA PAPELETA. Electors for Robert J. Gregory J. Robert J. Gregory J. Robert J. Gloria Alden Governor and Duffy Edwards Duffy Edwards Duffy Mattera Link [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] Lieutenant [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] Governor [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] 2. BALLOT PROPOSALS [Spanish] ARE LOCATED ON THE1 OTHE SIDE OF THIS [Chinese] K! J ! I " BALLOT. 2. LAS PROPUESTAS DE [Korean] Taxpayers Freedom Anti-Prohibition PAPELETA APARECEN [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] EN EL DORO DE ESTA Vote Once PAPELETA. Vote una vez 1K 1J 1I [Chinese] [Korean] Carl P. Charles Kristin M. Paladino Barron Davis [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] New York [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] MARKING INSTRUCTIONS: Gregory J. Eva M. Tanya INSTRUCCIONES Edwards Doyle Gendelman DE MARCADO: [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] Correct Mark: 3 Marca Correcta:
  • Sarasota 4
  • Sarasota 4
  • Sarasota 4
  • Good design is invisible 5
  • No design, no test = 6
  • No design, no test = lost votes 6
  • No testing =residual votesKing Co. 2009 undervotes weredisproportionate to other countiesresulted in legislation about ballot design 7
  • No testing =residual votesKing Co. 2009 undervotes weredisproportionate to other countiesresulted in legislation about ballot design 7
  • No testing =loss of franchiseMinnesota SoS tests vote-by-mail after 2008senate recounts Before 8
  • No testing =loss of franchiseMinnesota SoS tests vote-by-mail after 2008senate recounts After 9
  • Lessons yet to be learned 10
  • IRV / RCV 11
  • Vote-by-mail 12
  • UOCAVA 13
  • DEMONSTRATION BALLOT [Insert Chinese Translation]SAMPLE BALLOT FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION - City of New York - County of Kings - November 2, 2010 [Insert Korean Translation] A B C D E F G RDH H WRITE-IN CANDIDATO POR 1. BEFORE VOTING THIS BALLOT, Democratic Republican Independence Conservative Working Families Green Rent is 2 Damn Libertarian ESCRITO [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] High [Chinese] PLEASE READ THE [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Chinese] [Korean] INSTRUCTIONS ON [Korean] THE OTHER SIDE OF 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F 1G 1H WRITE-IN THIS BALLOT. Andrew M. Carl P. Andrew M. Carl P. Andrew M. Howie Jimmy Warren 1. ANTES DE EMITIR Cuomo Paladino Cuomo Paladino Cuomo Hawkins McMillan Redlich [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] SU VOTO CON [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] ESTA PAPELETA, [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] SÍRVASE LEER LAS [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] INSTRUCCIONES EN EL DORSO DE ESTA PAPELETA. Electors for Robert J. Gregory J. Robert J. Gregory J. Robert J. Gloria Alden Governor and Duffy Edwards Duffy Edwards Duffy Mattera Link [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] Lieutenant [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] Governor [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] 2. BALLOT PROPOSALS [Spanish] ARE LOCATED ON THE1 OTHE SIDE OF THIS [Chinese] K! J ! I " BALLOT. 2. LAS PROPUESTAS DE [Korean] Taxpayers Freedom Anti-Prohibition PAPELETA APARECEN [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] EN EL DORO DE ESTA Vote Once PAPELETA. Vote una vez 1K 1J 1I [Chinese] [Korean] Carl P. Charles Kristin M. Paladino Barron Davis [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] New York [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] MARKING INSTRUCTIONS: Gregory J. Eva M. Tanya INSTRUCCIONES Edwards Doyle Gendelman DE MARCADO: [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Chinese] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] [Korean] Correct Mark: Marca Correcta: 14
  • Los Angeles County 15
  • Empowering local elections officials 16
  • 1 hour: show 1 do 1 teach 1State conferences 17
  • Countybrown bags Extended lunchtime workshops 18
  • Advisory committees 19
  • 20
  • Observing voters and poll workers is believing 20
  • Observing voters and poll workers is believingElection directors love data 20
  • Observing voters and poll workers is believingElection directors love dataUsability testing is a learned skill 20
  • Observing voters and poll workers is believingElection directors love dataUsability testing is a learned skillLocal election officials get excited about usabilitytesting 20