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Tanvi Ranka, Arushi Juneja, Barbara Blake

Institute of Design | Fall 2018

THE YOUTH VOTE

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The youth project was the outcome of a semester long workshop to better understand the design methods with Vijay Kumar. This project focused on improving voter turnout and enabling informed decisions.

Problem space

Increase participation and help a newly eligible voter understand the what and how of a complex voting system.

Approach

The low percentage of youth voters made it important to understand attitude and barriers among non voters. Among voters, creating a journey map and timeline helped arrive at guiding principles

METHODS

- Analogous Models

- Eras Maps

- Research Participant Map

- Ethnographic Interviews

Framing Insights

- Observations to Insights

- Insight Clustering

- Design Principle Generation

Ideation

- Workshop ( Ideation session, Role Play, Concept Generating Matrix)

Concept Development

- Ideation

- Concept evaluation

- Solution roadmap

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Value Map

We used several methods to inform our understanding of the context, including:

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Trend matrix

Initial frame

Changing voting from a discrete set of activities, considered cumbersome, exclusionary and prone to inaccuracies, to a seamless delivery of voter related services.

Knowing the user

Additionally, secondary research told us:

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After creating a participant map, we decided to focus on first time voters and non voters in the 18 - 29 age group. Among this segment, we conducted interviews to understand: 

- Associations with voting using mind map and laddering

 

- Journey of last experience with registration, preparing to vote and voting: method used, pain points and uncertainties

 

- Triggers and barriers to vote

 

- Influencers

Insights into why the youth doesn't vote:

// They do not see the relation between voting and the impact on their future.

// Not feeling represented well enough by either candidate.

//  A feeling of “my vote doesn’t count”: the system favors the rich and powerful, I'm not in a swing state, independent candidates won't win.

// Politics not being a part of discussion while growing up removes voting from consideration.

Inspiring and re-framing the problem

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 I never voted when I turned 18..I didn’t vote until I was like 27 because I never realized that it is effecting me, my life, my paycheck, my taxes, my benefits.

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Well, I don’t think either candidate represents me and my thought process, but I can’t do anything about that. I’ll just go

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Our findings fell under two main buckets:

1. There is a lack of motivation to vote, and

2. the system is hard to navigate for those that do want to vote

We dug into each of these to understand them better

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We never really discussed politics growing up, so I never even thought about it

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HOW MIGHT WE

Increase desire to participate in the voting process

But what happens when they want to vote?

The voting system is a highly complex and overwhelming system, that the newly eligible voter has difficulty navigating.

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Insights into what makes it hard?

- System expects active information seeking and high level of motivation /engagement preparation rather than allowing for passive behaviour.

- News channels often focus on politics rather than giving a roadmap to voting, “other things” you are voting on are not visible.

- Influences are not always informed themselves

- Young voters are far removed / distanced from the commonly known existing mediums of information dissemination, like newspapers.

- Websites that give info in a consumable way are few and not well known

HOW MIGHT WE

Bring clarity on what to do and how to do go about the confusing process of voting

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I did watch several news channels...it was just a whole lot of mudslinging

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My sister had told me about how to register..she was active in all this. But she didn’t mention there would be so many things to vote on

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I mostly find out about this stuff from this celebrity I follow on insta...she shares her views

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IDEATION WORKSHOP

We conducted an ideation session with our 2 "How Might We" statements through several activities. Some broad themes that came out:

- Developing a sense of community around voting

- Public commitment to vote, especially tapping social media

- Removal of mail based services

- Simplifying candidate research

- Simulation

CONCEPT CATALOGUE

Clustering individual ideas from the ideation session, we created a concept catalogue with 20 concepts.

FRAMING SOLUTIONS

Based on scoring, as well as our qualitative judgements, we arrived at our final solutions, which were a combination of several concepts. A 3 part systemic solution, where each part supports the other parts, but may be implemented individually as well.

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Plant a seed

Features:

  • Civics curriculum now involves research on issues and candidates.

  • Debates and discussion in class create intrigue and room to discover impact of voting on self.

  • Simulation close to elections helps understand process

  • Participation in poll voter competition increases overall interest

Problems the solution tackles​:

  • Youth doesn't see how voting effects 'them'

  • Not aware of candidates or positions on issues

  • Don’t know what to expect from an overwhelming system

Design principles:

  • Flexible for different levels of knowledge and engagement

  • Make things tangible: impact on "my life" and system

  • Make system less overwhelming

  • Leverage the influencer

Behavioural economics principles:

  • Remove obstacles to action

  • Dial up motivation

  • Reduce complexity

Voter Kit

Features

  • Next steps on how and where to cast ballot.

  • Sample ballot showing the candidates up for vote, along with introduction to VoteAmerica app

  • Friends and family coupons, badges, t-shirts, bands and other custom identifier to create feeling of community

 

Problem it tackles​

  • Maintain interest

  • Not aware of candidates or positions on issues

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Design principles 

  • Build trust in the system

  • Make system less overwhelming

Behavioural economics principles

  • Reduce uncertainty

  • Stimulate action

  • Foster identity

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VoteAmerica App
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Strategy Road Map

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