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How Design Can Save Democracy

Making information accessible to all.

With election time coming around it’s important to get out, vote, and let your voice be heard. But being heard is a problem that has plagued our democratic process for the last few elections. There are new digital technologies (the benefits are debatable) being used but not every polling station has access to such equipment. Instead millions will be using the old paper system. Dangling chads, loose larrys and all.

That being said, through the mystical power of design much of this trouble can be alleviated. I’m not talking about design using rounded corners and reflection as many of the web2.blah projects use. What I’m referring to is the rethinking and simplification of data in a way to make it visually accessible to all.

In a New York times blog post Richard Grefe writes about these problems and offers a great solution. Using simple language, clearly divided categories, and illustrations to explain the process can help to make the voting experience a little more pleasant.

This update to a centuries old system will do for now … until we can text it in from our cell phone while Ryan Seacrest reveals the results … right after this break.

Philip Joyner

Not only can the man stare down CSS code until it writes itself in sheer terror, but he is famous around 220 E. Hall St for what we like to call his “happy dance”. Few have seen it, and those who have can’t get enough.