Civic Design

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ever onward: A hope for continued progress in election reform

The Bush Administration spurred major election reform in the US. This reform movement included technology, security, and accessibility. It urged improvements in plain language in public documents, transparency in process, and alternative ways and days for voting.

Election reform has resulted in some great things: ability to vote for many who were unable to vote independently before; examination of steps in the process that hadn’t received much attention before, such as recounts and record-keeping; research-based improvements in ballot design – and much more.

But there is more yet to be done. Many voters are disenfranchised – still – by suboptimal design and the lack of usability in election materials they receive, voting machines they use, ballots they mark. Here’s hoping that the new administration continues to see election reform as a priority and continues and expands funding for research sponsored by the federal government that will result in easier, more accurate voting.

-- Dana Chisnell

Note: This post reflects the views of the person who wrote and posted it. It does not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Usability Professionals' Association or its individual members.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Come hear: UPAers on ballot usability, plain language, and evaluating doc for poll workers

Several of us on the Usability in Civic Life Project at the Usability Professionals' Association will be speaking at events in 2009 on topics that we hope elections officials, design practitioners, and human factors researchers are interested in. The dates, places, events, topic titles, and speakers are listed below.




Topic title


Feb 6

Washington, DC


Usability Testing Ballots

Dana Chisnell

May 3-6

Atlanta, GA


Rewriting the Voting Experience On Election Day

Susan Becker, Ginny Redish, Whitney Quesenbery, Josie Scott, Sarah Swierenga, Dana Chisnell

June 12

Portland, OR


Improving the User Experience of Voting

Ginny Redish, Dana Chisnell, Sharon Laskowski, Svetlana Lowry

July 7-11

Spokane, WA


Improving the User Experience of Voting

Dana Chisnell

July 19-24

San Diego, CA

HCI International

User Experience in Elections: Poll Workers

Dana Chisnell, Karen Bachmann

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