Civic Design

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

AIGA launches online election design gallery

As AIGA's Design for Democracy turns into a volunteer-run project (as UPA's Usability in Civic Life is), Jessica Hewitt, who was the AIGA staff point person on the project for the last few years, has headed up a couple of important efforts that demonstrate recent progress in election design.

Design for Democracy's seminal project for the Election Assistance Commission completed in 2007 generated evidence-based and beautiful design specifications for effective layout and design of optical scan ballots, signs, and other election administration materials. Those have been posted on the AIGA web site for some time.  In addition to the report of best practices, anyone can download templates and graphics files.

Now that the design best practices have trickled down to the county level, the project has been collecting examples of how they've been implemented. Interestingly, though the design best practices were developed mainly for ballots and signage, local elections officials have successfully applied the salient parts (along with usability testing) in ingenious ways to voter registration forms, voter information pamphlets, ballot inserts, posters, and other print and online materials. Jessica Hewitt and Amy Vainieri present many of them on the AIGA web site in its Election Design Gallery, another great resource for local elections officials as well as professional designers working in elections.

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