It's Time to Rock the Vote: Leading Usability Expert to Tackle Ballot Design through Kickstarter Project
This announcement was prepared by Dana Chisnell.
Boston, Massachusetts - January 11, 2012 — Designing a usable ballot is one of the most complex and challenging objectives since the founding fathers wrote the Constitution. Dana Chisnell, a leader in the field of usability research and design, will be conducting design research to improve the American voting experience and publishing her findings in a handbook titled "A Resource Guide to Civic Design". This project will be launched through Kickstarter on January 22.
The book will give guidance on dealing with the challenges of Civic Design, focusing especially on how to ensure that votes are cast as intended. Through extensive voter interviews, ballot testing, workshops and research, Dana will examine and share the good, bad and ugly of voting experiences to give tools to local election officials before the general election of 2012 begins.
Kickstarter is the go-to source of creative crowd-funding for artists, designers, musicians, and filmmakers. Harnessing the power of crowdsourcing, Dana hopes to raise at least $25,000 to turn her data stockpiles into a handy guidebook, and improve the voting experience for all voters.
Voters misreading ballots or marking ballots incorrectly means that they're unable to vote as they intend. For past elections, problems with ballot design have meant that thousands of votes have been lost, calling elections into question. All because the ballot was unclear or hard to use. "It's still too hard for many people to vote," says Dana. "Even if they manage to register and clear the ID requirements, because of the way ballots are designed, many voters are not able to vote the way they intend. I want to ensure votes are counted as intended, not just as cast."
Dana Chisnell has a mad passion for making design decisions based on data and conducted landmark applied research on the language of instructions on ballots, instructions for poll workers, and the usability of the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) for overseas and military voters (you can download the ballot at www.fvap.gov). She advises on ballot design, usability testing, and plain language as a member of the Ballot Design Task Force at the Brennan Center for Justice, is part of the "brain trust" behind AIGA's Design for Democracy Project, a key mover and shaker on the Usability Professionals' Association Usability in Civic Life Project, and is co-author (with Jeff Rubin) of the Handbook of Usability Testing, 2nd Edition.
Related Resources about usability testing and civic design:
www.usabilityworks.net and www.civicdesigning.org.
For more information:
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