A conversational experience to navigate the provincial election + an analytical dashboard with insights on young voters’ concerns.

ELECTIONS BC | CHATBOT + DASHBOARD

Reviving the relevance of election voting for the younger generation. We bring electoral information to the younger generation instead of having them to go to it.

BRIEF

Role

UX, UI

Project type

Concept design

Turnout rate of young voters

In the past elections, the turnout rate of young voters, especially the age range from 18 to 24, has always been the lowest.

Vicious circle

The younger generation is socially active, but engages in politics differently. The politicians commonly target the consistent older voters, paying less attention to the voting groups that have lower turnout rates. The younger generation gets very little outreach in mobilization from campaigns and candidates.

Result

We pitched the design to the industry panels including designers from Habanero, IBM, Finger Food, Dossier, and Engine Digital and received positive feedback.

Weeks after, we have discovered that R/GA proposed a similar idea, GoVoteBot on US election and was a Shorty Award finalist in the category 'Social Media Tool' and ended in third place in the category 'Call to Action'.

RESEARCH

Voters feel that they don’t know enough

One of the major reasons why the younger generation doesn't feel comfortable voting is due to the lack of knowledge about the political parties. According to both reports from AbacusData and BC elections 2015, one in three young non-voters has difficulties finding electoral information such as who are the MLAs, party platforms and topics.

Overwhelming voting process

It is difficult to access information from the Elections BC website. Voters might not be aware who their local representatives are or what their electoral district is. All parties and individual representatives have their own social media platform and websites. Voters have to do their own research cross platforms and might end up at a poll station with a long queue.

Current process of learning about BC election
FRAMING

How can we make the electoral information more accessible for young voters?

Discovery

Social Media influences turnout

“People consume news today very differently than 3 years ago. They don’t visit specific websites or blogs, but rather subscribe directly on Facebook or Twitter. Facebook social messages increased the turnout rate directly by about 60,000 voters and indirectly through social contagion by another 280,000 voters.” -Boulianne, Shelley. "Social Media Use and Participation: A Meta-analysis of Current Research”, 2015

FRAMING

Learn about who, when and where to vote through a conversation


Making online registration easy and accessible

FRAMING

How can we leverage the platforms that young voters are already engaged with, to make electoral information more accessible and relevant to them?

Necessity of reviving the relevance

How they feel:
Don’t feel like their voices are being heard or that any politician wants to hear them; Doubt if politicians would actually live up to their promises; Don’t feel a sense of agency.

"They [younger generation] don’t believe that the main political leaders understand the issues that affect them most They feel like they’re the last group that politicians want to talk to.” 
- Rick Edwards | TEDxHousesofParliament, 2014
RELEVANCE

Share Concern and feedback

There are various issues I am concerned about, like rising costs of housing. Is there a way for me to quickly share my concern with my representative?

Understand which parties share similar views

I want to vote for someone who has the same views as me. How can I do that?

More transparency from parties

How do I know if parties will keep their promises?

Testing

It should feel like a conversation

Conversational flow
Prototyping the chatbot
Usability test
Online usability test
POLITICANS

Challenging to capture younger generations’ concerns

“It’s quite limited with what we have. The type of youth that participate are already highly engaged and motivated, and are very affluent” 
- interview with Andrea Reimer, the chair of strategy and policy

What worked previously, calling landline or door-to-door campaigning, isn’t very appealing to today’s younger voters. Online surveys also don’t work that well, since it’s very costly to craft them and the percentage of young voters filling them out might be disappointing.

Where politician and voters can communicate throughout the election cycle

Sometimes, parties don’t get it right the first time. But right now, with the political system, a party makes promises on creating an optimist number of affordable housing for the next 4 years. But with little feedback or room to iterate, things might not work out the way it was originally planned. When that happens, people are disappointed or angry and politicians like MLAs might feel the same way.

Ballotbot Dashboard

With the data from ballotbot transferred to customizable dashboard, the MLAs would be able to get an overview on what topics people are concerned and receive feedback on their proposed solutions.

Dashboard overview
Ballot collect voter's opinion
Feedback from ballot
Long-term goal

Better voting experience better turnout

"The study found that if you get a person to vote in one election, they will be 29 percent more likely to vote in the next election, if they have a good experience."

- Nickerson, Young Voter Strategies, 2004
More work