UX in Civic Design

I know very little about UX in civic design. The day after an election, or a caucus (like yesterday’s), I rely on more knowledgable civic design folk. People like Dana Chisnell and Andrew Maier educate me. As Dana says, “every day is a civics lesson.”

As we await the results of yesterday’s Iowa caucus, it’s easy to jump to conclusions:

  • The process is broken
  • Apps and technology won’t work
  • We don’t have enough technology in place

But in reality, we (or at least I!) know very little.

How Does UX Impact Civic Design?

UX definitely has a role in civic design. That’s something Dana Chisnell has most certainly taught me. But I don’t know what areas of UX need to be improved in the caucus system.

That said, in the midst of tweets and articles melting down over a lack of results, one tweet stood out. This one tweet pointed out that caucus results aren’t required to be in the day of the caucus. The only reason we expected it? Most news reports said to expect it.

In reality, this is an issue of expectation management.

Expectation Management is Good UX

What if, instead of expecting results at 9pm, we all expected the caucus results today? In that case this isn’t a “possible hacking.” Instead, the Democratic party is double checking the accuracy of the results and all is well.

It doesn’t solve much, but it would be a better experience.

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