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AIGA Design for Democracy, led by AIGA national board member
Drew Davies, has been working with election design experts Dana Chisnell and
Whitney Quesenbery to distill best practices into a series of pocket-size
handbooks called “Field Guides To Ensuring Voter Intent.”
Each book includes researched guidelines
and examples about a specific and far-too-common election design
problem. These guides will help county election officials, designers and
advocates design ballots, write instructions for voters, test ballots
for usability and create effective poll worker materials.
The form factor is designed for the busy county election official to
pick up and within minutes learn useful, field-researched, critical
ballot design techniques that help ensure that every vote is cast as
voters intend. The guides were distributed to county election officials in 2012 and published online at Civic Design.
Download PDFs of the Field Guides here for free:
We know now from several years of testing ballots all over the U.S. that implementing simple principles of design make it much more likely that
voters are able to vote the way they intend. This Field Guide pulls 10 key guidelines from research conducted by AIGA’s Design for Democracy Project for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Learn what makes design in election signage, posters, ballots, and other print materials effective for all kinds of voters.
Download this PDF
It’s amazing the difference simple language can make for voters. In research conducted for the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Ginny Redish and Dana Chisnell found that when instructions on ballots were in plain language, voters made fewer mistakes and were more likely to vote the way they intended. The 10 guidelines in this Field Guide come mainly from the NIST research.
These guidelines for conducting usability tests of ballots comes from two main sources. The first is a group of documents put together into the Local Election Official (LEO) Usability Testing Kit developed by the Usability in Civic Life project by the Usability Professionals’ Association. The second source is the years of experience the team behind the Field Guides has conducting usability tests and working with counties and states to help them make ballots, forms, and web sites work better for all citizens.
One way to ensure voter intent is to make sure poll workers know what to do when. The clearer their training before Election Day and the job aids they have at hand on Election Day, the more likely everything will go smoothly. In research conducted for the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Dana Chisnell and Susan Becker learned that following some basic rules in writing procedures can help poll workers be efficient and effective.
Design for Democracy applies design tools to increase civic participation by making interactions between the U.S. government and its citizens clear.
Section: Why Design -
ballot, election design
This collection of sample ballots highlights common ballot
design challenges and AIGA Design for Democracy's
Ballots, voter information and polling place materials can be made clearer, more effective, and easier for citizens to use with attention to a few design recommendations.
Combining Midwestern hospitality with a dash of biking vernacular, Duffy & Partners’ branding for Nice Ride put bike share systems—and Minnesota's twin cites—on the map as leaders in 21st century transportation solutions.
Section: Why Design -
branding, Design for Good, pro bono, sustainability
This has been one of the most popular questions I’ve received so far,
and goes to show the how high the demand for UX designers and UX design
Section: Tools and Resources -
data visualization, interface design, user experience, digital media, professional development, advice
When the Waldo Canyon Fire broke out in Colorado Springs this past June, a group of creatives rapidly mobilized to create Wild Fire Tees, selling custom-designed T-shirts to benefit those affected by fires statewide. Their simple goal was to sell a few hundred shirts. They underestimated by
Section: Inspiration -
Design for Good, pro bono
Imagehaus created a new brand for MadeSmart, an established home storage-product company with a goal to be the style and innovation leader for home storage and organization solutions.
Section: Why Design -
branding, metrics of effectiveness, Making the Case
Salt Lake City
External Resources (cont.)
Logoworks by HP