Utah Votes

Project Overview
Adulting is hard. Voting shouldn’t be.

This case study shows how to better serve voter participation in Utah while understanding and working with the motivating factors influencing those actions.
My Role
UX Designer
User Research
UI Design
Project Brief
In 2016 the Baby Boomers & other generations are now the minority voters, as the Millennials & GenX population is greater. How can we help Millennial and Gen X voters engage in the process of voting?

Daily expectations at work and home are busy and complex for most adults. Oftentimes those obligations leave little time for civic awareness and knowledge about the things and people impacting their communities. Voters want to be engaged, but the amount of information and time has been daunting in the past.  
Adulting is hard. Voting shouldn’t be.
Assumptions
Prior to starting this project I listed the assumptions concerning the brief. These are ideas I had that may or may not have been true. These assumptions dictated the survey and interview questions that were given to 70 people within the specified age demographic.
  • Voting takes too long — people have good intentions, but in the end work, family etc. supersede best intentions.
  • People only vote if its convenient
  • People want an easier option other than mail in ballots/voting in person. (i.e. secure technology)
The results of the initial survey helped us realize that we actually weren’t asking the right questions to get data specific enough to really understand what some real solutions to our problem might be. So, we conducted a second survey, with questions that proved more useful in guiding our process and a solution. Through both surveys and interviews, we collected data from over 137 participants.
Research Results
  • 74% of people surveyed voted in the last election.
  • The majority of people feel it is their civic duty to vote, so in most cases, they will vote.  
  • 41% of non voters said they didn’t vote because they weren’t informed enough on ballot issues/candidates
  • People only want to spend 1-2 hours voting
  • 99% of people felt that being informed makes them more likely to vote
Non voters largely felt that two things could fix their voting problem:
  1. Access to unbiased, clear information
  2. Secure voting technology
Persona
We developed a persona based on the results.
Based on the data, and developed persona we concluded that voters goals are the following:
  • To have an easier and quick access to unbiased information about voting issues
  • Spend less time both in the process of knowing and voting
  • Be an informed voter
Ideation for solutions
Initially we spent a lot of time considering any options for a potentially secure electronic method of voting. We knew that saving time was one of our survey participants’ main pain points. We also knew that our non voters cited that a key solution to get them to vote would be a secure electronic voting option. After realizing the many barriers to a potentially secure voting option, and re-visiting our data over AND OVER, we were reminded that the large majority of people interviewed DID vote. We concluded that since the majority of people feel compelled to, and will vote, we can help them in the two other pain points that were cited - education and time.
SOLUTION & 
Story Map
Create an easy way to research elections, candidates, and ballot issues, based on your location and interests.
Make it clean and fun in order to appeal to young voters, and straightforward enough for anyone to use
Provide a unifying and motivating solution.

Our Story mapping showed the journey of how to educate, Inform & connect our voters.
WIREFRAMing
Prototype
User Testing
After conducting some user tests, we determined that a significant problem was that our main CTA wasn’t clear enough for users to easily navigate. More than half of the users clicked on the wrong area on the dashboard.
"I could not find any text or links indicating any info about voting issues, so I thought that the precinct info might eventually lead me to a link with voting issues for each candidate.”

“It is the only area I see with voting information. I assume it brings up a bigger list.”
Modifications based on User Testing
Made CTA more apparent: added color to Challenge box
Next Step Product Development
For the next steps, I would test the functionality and flow of dashboard for our users — this would first be done through a prototype (save on development costs)

Test the user experience specifically for the ‘challenge’ feature. Do people understand how to participate in the voting dashboard? OR can they quickly conclude that this is the area to learn and complete voting education challenges.

Test to see if Including a sample ballot plan helps our audience to vote easier

Test the depth to which users want to answer interest questions which might align them with potential events, candidates, etc. (i.e. preliminary ‘interest’ survey)

In general - LOTS MORE USER TESTING
Learning Opportunities
Through the process of finding solutions to this problem, I realized the value of asking the right questions. Spending more time at this stage would have been more valuable and saved us time in the long run — giving us more useful information to analyze & interpret.
I also realize the importance of adaptability and being openminded. Continuously revisiting our persona guided our work and helped us pivot numbers times. The solution we developed was one answer to the problem, but I don’t think we would have gone in that direction unless we consistently reviewed our quantifiable data. I think being able to adapt and change was critical in moving to this solution.
Conclusion
This product offers real solutions to the problem at hand by assisting to connect, inform & educate voters. Utah Votes has potential to become a useful tool & could inspire those voters that need clear digestible information.

I would like to pitch this idea to a local Utah authority in charge of voting initiatives, I think it has real potential to be useful & inspire voter turnout (not to mention — well informed voters)


UPDATE: Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner – we have tracked down person in charge of Utah budgets, and will soon be meeting with this individual to see if this could have REAL potential to make a difference locally. At the very least, connect with our local voting authorities to get a new perspective on the project.

See Prototype here

Credits



Thanks to Nicole Warner & Nick Wilson (UX Design & Research Team)