Elisabeth Pefanis
UX/UI Designer

League of Women Voters

Mobile App Concept


Company Overview

The League of Women Voters is an organization dedicated to improving the government through encouraging all citizens to engage in decisions that impact their lives. They operate at a national, state, and local level through 800+ state and local Leagues.

Design Challenge

The League of Women Voters online platform equips voters with essential voting information, but lacks a compelling narrative that motivates users to be involved with politics. It focuses on how to vote but not why.  

 Solution

They needed an app that not only informs its users but drives them to make an impact through their vote.  Myself and two other UX Designers created an app concept that is convenient and focuses on motivating its users to be politically active.

League of Women Voters

Design Process

  • Role: UX Researcher/Strategist
  • Skills Applied: Researching the voting landscape and historical trends, synthesizing data from interviews, creating journey maps, competitive analysis, sketching, prototyping, and making wireframes for Persona One
  • Scope: 2 weeks
    • Phase 1 - Research
    • Phase 2 - Wireframes & Iterations
    • Phase 3 - Visual Design


Research

To understand who the potential users would be I wanted to answer two questions: 

Who is/isn't voting and why?

62M
Millennials could vote in 2016, making it
the 2nd largest demo
49%
Of registered
Millennials did
not vote in 2016
40%
Nonvoters: didn't like candidates /issues or vote wouldn't count
63%
Of women voted
in 2016 vs.
59% of men

Key Takeaways

  • Millennials were the 2nd largest demographic of eligible voters in the 2016 presidential election but ranked last among demographics for actually voting
  • 40% of nonvoters that were registered said they did not vote either because they didn't like the candidates/campaign issues or were not interested, felt vote wouldn't make a difference 
  • Women consistently vote more than men - In every presidential election since 1980, the proportion of female adults who voted has exceeded men

League of Women Voters

Who Can Vote

Millennials were the 2nd largest demographic in the 2016 election, trailing Baby Boomers


League of Women Voters

Who Did Vote

Only 51% of Millennials voted in the 2016 Presidential Election, putting them in last place 


League of Women Voters

Reasons for Not Voting

"Not liking the candidates or campaign issues" and "Not interested, felt vote wouldn't make a difference" were the two most cited reasons for not voting in 2016 


Proportion of Eligible Adult Population Who Reported Voting
Proportion of Eligible Adult Population Who Reported Voting

Gender Differences in Voter Turnout

In every presidential election since 1980, the proportion of female adults who voted has exceeded men

These Findings Helped...

  • Empathize with the potential user and understand the problems the business is facing
  • Create an interview script for when speaking to the League of Women Voters
  • Identify the target market as younger, females
  • Who to interview and what questions to ask

Synthesizing Interview Insights
League of Women Voters

Interview with LWV

1st Vice President of Boulder County

Insights That Were Confirmed

  • Registered Millennials are not voting
  • Need better ways to reach younger demographics
  • Constantly hear "My vote doesn't matter"

New Insights

  • Need to reach a more diverse demographic, not just young
  • Want people to be involved in voting on a local level as well as national

Comparing User Interviews

Below is a grid comparing user interviews which helped find similarities between the interviewees and create personas.

League of Women Voters
League of Women Voters
Finding Common Themes

By simplifying the grid into check marks and x's the similarities and differences became clearer and were easier to group into personas.

League of Women Voters
League of Women Voters
"I think it matters that I vote, I don't think that my vote matters."
Quote from an Interviewee

These Findings Helped Define the Personas:

League of Women Voters
League of Women Voters

Defining the User

By synthesizing the interviews we realized there were two common themes: Motivation and how informed they were.

This helped us pick our two personas - 

Novice: The Novice is moderately informed, but feels unmotivated because they don't think they can make a difference

Expert: The Expert is informed and motivated but needs a convenient way to stay politically active

Personas


League of Women Voters

Molly Moves

Novice

Molly just moved to Denver from her hometown of Seattle, where she was very politically informed.  However, she hates how many political deadlines there are and generally feels apathetic towards voting.

She researched and discussed Colorado politics with her boyfriend, who works in politics.  Molly is already registered to vote in her new state but she also just started a brand new job.

She's having a hard time finding the intrinsic motivation to vote due to a distrust in the political process and lack of incentive.

Molly's Journey

Molly's user flow starts with entering at the login page but skips logging in because she's simply curious about the app.  

She then proceeds to the brief on-boarding experience of choosing issues she cares about, moving on to the home page where she sees a voting event she's interested in and proceeds to add it to her calendar.  She receives positive feedback confirming the event and it gives her the option to read about why her vote matters, go to the voting guide, or the homepage.  

Key Takeaway: This addresses the issue of motivation by constantly reaffirming why her participation matters and how convenient it is to integrate into her life by using the app.

League of Women Voters
League of Women Voters

Nora Knows

Expert

Nora is very involved in the political world and vocal when it comes to issues she's passionate about.  Most of her free time is spent volunteering to help organize social movements and initiatives.

For example, she helped lead both the 2017 and the 2018 Women's March on Denver.  Being as busy as she is, she needs reminders to stay on top of both local and national political issues.  Nora is also an advocate for regularly reaching out to her local representatives to make sure her voice is heard!

Nora's Journey

Nora is familiar with the app so her user flow begins by receiving a notification that says her representative is voting on an issue she cares about.

Her main concern is that her voice is heard, whether it's a national election or a local representative voting on an issue she cares about.

Key Takeaway: The app helps fit into her busy lifestyle by making it easy to keep up to date with politics on every level and to "take action" by calling or messaging her representative, so she always feels she is making a difference.

League of Women Voters
Competitive Analysis
League of Women Voters

Competitors

I looked at three competitors based on their target market and app in order to get an idea of what functions our's should have

League of Women Voters

The Skimm

"theSkimm is a membership company. We make it easier to live a smarter life by integrating in the routines of our target audience -- female millennials"

The Skimm's primary business is sending out daily news updates by email.  Their target market are female millennials and their goal is to get 100,000 people to vote this November.

League of Women Voters

Countable

"Get clear, concise summaries of bills going through Congress, see what others think, then take action. Telling your reps how you feel is easier than ever with email and now video messages. Make your democracy more responsive!"

Countable is part of Axios, a news site, it has a website and an app that is centered around taking action.  This can be in the form of clicking "Yea" or "Nay" on a story, sharing it with others, or contacting your reps

League of Women Voters

VoteSpotter

VoteSpotter is a mobile app that connects you to your representatives.  Get alerts when they vote, then tell them what you think. It's never been easier to make your voice heard.

VoteSpotter is an app that's primary function is to show how your representatives voted and then how you feel about their vote with a thumbs up (Agree) or thumbs down (Disagree)

League of Women Voters

These findings helped...

  • Prioritize features 
  • Determine the layout of the app
  • Plan how to achieve the goals of the app - get people involved and help them understand why their vote and voice matter

Wireframes & Iterations

I created the wireframes for Nora's (expert) userflow and conducted usability tests that resulted in iterations.

The feedback from user tests was that they liked the option to contact their reps, but there was some confusion about the options.  To make the flow more seamless we removed the options that were presented after the "Take Action" button was clicked and went straight to "Contact Reps" 

Initial Userflow:

Nora is the expert user; she receives a notification that her representative is voting on an issue she cares about and wants her opinion to be heard

League of Women Voters
League of Women Voters
League of Women Voters

Final Userflow:

Mockups

The below are high fidelity android tablet mockups I created, using the established layout and style my teammate created for the UI

Next Steps

Conclusion

The problem that surfaced from research and interviews with both the League of Women Voters and potential users was that people were not politically active because they lacked motivation and felt that their vote/voice mattered.  The app addresses this by giving them the ability to "take action", congratulating them, and telling them why each action they do matters and how they're making a difference.  The end result is users who are empowered through action, positivity, and information.

Next Steps

  • Conduct more usability tests
  • Build out voter guide
  • Interview more people in the target demographic
  • Continue speaking with the League of Women Voters

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