background

Elect is a mobile application that aims to simplify the process of participating in elections by placing the voter's guide – quite literally – in your pocket.

The decision to go forward with the app arose from a discussion on accessible design, and how we could create experiences that allow the broadest cross-section of society to participate.

We came around to the topic of voting, and realised that the difficulty of researching and making sense of ballot issues and candidates reduces voter participation, effectively disenfranchising those without the time to commit to civic participation. Elect was born.

Process

Development of Elect started with interviews and research spread over two weeks. We surveyed tens of people from twenty to sixty years of age about their perceptions of the electoral process and how it could be improved. We also examined prior e-voting efforts and initiatives to identify common trends and themes.

Results & Realisation

Elect placed 2nd in the Microsoft Windows Phone 8 AppHack Competition. That validation of our concept has given us the motivation to continue working on the project.

We hope to have a publicly available version of Elect ready in time for the 2014 Primaries. If you're interested in updates or a demo of the application, please send us an email :)

Elect was a collaboration between Melody Kim and Nick Barnwell during their Summer '13 Internships at Microsoft.

Nick is reading for a degree in English Literature at University of Washington Seattle, graduating in Winter '14. Before coming to Microsoft, he interned at Google, Podio, and several smaller startups. His interests include HCI and the 18th century British novel.

Melody is majoring in HCI with a minor in CS at UCSD. She's passionate about Human Centered Design and exploring the application of those principles to create meaningful, innovative products that impact the world. Her previous work ranges from dblCam to ad agencies.