Usability in Civic Life

Voting and Usability Project

UXPA supports efforts to improve the usability of elections.


Through education, advocacy, and participation in standards and design projects, we focus on people within the election process.


We believe that usability and the voting experience should be the starting point for the design of any voting system, and are the key to creating ease of use, efficiency and confidence in democratic elections worldwide.


About the Voting and Usability Project

Oops! They Forgot the Usability
A talk introducing the work of the project by Whitney Quesenbery at the MSU Usability and Accessibility Conference, October 26, 2004

Connecting Usability and Accessiblity in Elections
Testimony by Whitney Quesenbery at the EAC Roundable on Usability and Accessibility, March 27, 2008

Plain Language: Adding Simplicity to Voting
Testimony by Josephine Scott at the EAC Roundable on Usability and Accessibility, March 27, 2008

Ballot Design, Accessibilty, and Usabilty
Testimony by Dana Chisnell at the EAC Public Meeting, April 16, 2008

Better Ballots
Report with The Brennan Center for Justice
, July 21, 2008

UXPA endorsed the Verified Voting resolution that providing a voter-verifiable audit trail should be one of the essential requirements for voting systems.


People who have participated in the project include: Dana Chisnell, Fred Conrad, Mike Elledge, Louise Ferguson, Kathy Gill, Laurie Kantner, Bill Killam, Sharon Laskowski, Alice Preston, Whitney Quesenbery, Ginny Redish, Josephine Scott and Sarah Swierenga



Support for Local Election Officials

The LEO Usability Testing Kit
This usability test kit lets Local Election Officials observe how easy or difficult it is for voters to use a ballot (either paper or electronic), in time to make changes before an election. (Overview poster, pdf 88Kb)


Ensuring the usability of voting systems

Usability and design research
UXPA doesn't sponsor research, but our members work on some of the key research projects, including

Voting standards
The US Voluntary Voting System Standards (VVSG) for the Election Assistance Commission.


Support for Usability/UX professionals

Ethics guidelines for professionals working in elections
Guidelines from UXPA and Design for Democracy for professionals working on election materials.

Resource and Links
Links to news articles, information about elections around the world and more

Get involved

Volunteer as a poll worker and see democracy at work first hand

Write to your local and national representatives and let them know how important design and usability is to the strength of a democracy.


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