Online Voter Guide
This is a team project for a class called Civic Engaegement. Online Voter Guide is a mobile app that digitizes the voter guide while providing users with options to keep track of their reading progress, save their choices, and set voting process reminders.
My role
Product Management
Design Strategy
Visual Design, Interaction Design
User Experience
Results
Our project was proposed to California government and has been taken into consideration as an option for designing future voter guides.

Smooth Reading & Evaluation Experience

The online voter guide breaks up complex propositions into easily digestible chunks and makes the content accessible anywhere.

Save Your Choices

Users can make, change, and save their choices of propositions & candidates.

Bring Sample Ballot to Polling place

Users can export a sample ballot to their phones as a reference when voting at the polling stations.

Challenge

Roughly 43 percent of eligible voters didn't bother filling out a ballot in 2016, according to turnout estimates from the U.S. Elections Project. How can we increase voter participation? 

Our group's goals were:

1. Develop a product concept that tackles the problem

2. Pitch to the stakeholders: in our case, California government & Voters

Design Toolkits

Project Schedule

Since it's a group project and we need to make sure everyone is always on the same page,

we visualized all of our tasks on the calendar. Below is a brief version:

Why we need an online voter guide

Voter guides demotivate people to vote: Through my interviews with 20 interviewees that cover both active and inactive voters, I found they had different attitudes toward the voter guide. Active voters view the voter guide as a textbook that they can learn most unbiased election information; While inactive voters cannot stand the 40-page information covered in a voter guide. It demotivates them to learn more about the voting process. There is an opportunity to make the voter guide more accessible to potential voters.

 

Online voter guide will smoothen the reading experience: It would take most people about 15 hours to finish the whole voter guide. The online voter guide can break up complex propositions into easily digestible chunks and make the content accessible anywhere.

 

Online voter guide will conserve monetary resources: California’s record-setting 224-page voter guide is costing taxpayers nearly $15 million. Providing the online voter guide as an alternative option can help save printing costs.

Comparative Analysis: learn from existing project

To explore the main features that would solve the current pain points, We looked at the existing platforms which enhanced the voting process. We combined these functions with the online voter guide to facilitate the voting process.

BallotReady

Record voter's choices

EasyVoterGuide

Provide simplified propositions

Turbo Vote

Text you reminders & locations

Voters' Preference

Our target users are voters at the age of 18-40 who are used to checking daily news online. We interviewed them about how they would envision their experience in using the online voter guide. We found: 

  • Our users prefer to use the voter guide on both app and website.

  • The current information architecture of the voter guide is confusing. 

  • Our users want to access every candidates & proposition easily.

Concept: Online Voter Guide

By synthesizing the insights we got from user interviews and comparative analysis, we settled the concept: Online Voter Guide is a mobile app that digitizes the voter guide while providing users with options to keep track of their reading progress, save their choices, and set voting process reminders.

Visual Design 1st version: it’s a for-government product.

For the first version, We used California government's 2018 voter guide as our reference. Since it's an official voter guide, we aligned our brand identity with the official state's visual design. This came in the form of adopting the same color palette while improving the visual language to make it more accessible to the website. However, user feedbacks given to this version are mostly negative.

Home page

Candidates page

On the ballot page

Visual Design 2nd version: it’s a for-voter product.

Our target users felt pressured to proceed in the app and they constantly experienced information overload in viewing the candidate and proposition page. These feedbacks made me realize: I completely overlooked the emotional design involved in designing the app. All the visual elements set my users in an unpleasant context. My app should tailor a soothing and delightful experience. I also need to improve my visual design skill.  There are a lot of misalignments in the texts & components. 

 

My solutions are: 

1. I studied design guidelines, including material design and flat design. This learning experience helped me re-rank my design priorities and align all of UI design with the brand.

2. I did another comparative analysis of products that give users a delightful experience. These apps inspired me to use colors and typography as smart tools for highlighting important tasks and guiding users through the pages.

Home page

Candidates page

On the ballot page

What has been changed in these two versions?

Here are three major changes:

1. Focus on one task and interaction in each page instead of multiple tasks

2. Colors, font sizes, and leadings

3. Components alignment

1. Focus on one task

2. Colors, font sizes, and leadings

3. Components alignment

Laptop Version Design

Since the laptop has a much larger screen than the mobile phone, I combined features to the same screen for quick access to each information.

Learning

Maximize the power of the group

This is my first time doing project management. This position pushed me to improve team dynamics and enhance team productivity and creativity. It made me realize the importance of always taking ownership of what you can contribute to a team.

Work hard in a smart way

This project inspires me to learn from the best practices which will help you save a lot of time by prioritizing your tasks and removing unnecessary tasks.