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
Report with The Brennan Center for Justice, July 21, 2008
- Public statements and letters to the editor
- Articles on voting in UXPA publications
- Project timeline
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
- Voter Performance Protocol - Conformance tests for voting systems
- Ballot and Polling Place Design Guidelines - Design for Democracy's work for the EAC
- Election research centers and their research reports
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
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.