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Brilliantly researched guideline gems and examples about specific and far-too-common ballot design problems.
Brilliantly researched guideline gems and examples about specific and far-too-common ballot design problems.
321 backers pledged $20,761 to help bring this project to life.

Local elections officials are looking for design guidance

As Sarah Higgins -- AIGA design fellow in the Washington State Elections Division -- attests, people who deal with ballot design are hungry for data and guidelines on which to base their decisions about ballot designs. 

She's especially excited about what the field guides might tell her about dealing with multiple languages in her designs. More and more jurisdictions are required to provide ballots and voter information in languages in addition to English. Rural counties in Nebraska, Texas, New York, California, and North Carolina are adding Spanish, Tagalog, and Chinese to their ballots. Other, densely populated places, like New York City and Los Angeles are having to provide ballots in as many as 10 languages to serve their melting-pot of registered voters. 

See more about Sarah's experiences and wish list

Chad Butterfly, the most interesting guy in civic design

This is the guy who will be featured on the thank-you postcards and as art in the field guides. It also happens that he's the voice of the project on Twitter (@ChadButterfly). He is so kickstarting civic design. 

Many thanks to Adam Connor for creating Chad and sharing him with us for the project. Personally, I can hardly stop looking at Chad. I know you will want one for your very own. 

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Adam Connor's kicky art gives us Chad Butterfly

Chad Butterfly is our project mascot, developed by Adam Connor. Chad will appear on the postcards as well as the field guides themselves. If you are a fan of Adam's illustration work, you're not going to want to miss the opportunity to have a version of Chad! 

Check out Chad in development

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Who will do the work?

This is a very reasonable question my friend Joe Hall asks. The answer is: probably mostly me with lots of collaborators. My prime collaborators will be Whitney Quesenbery and Drew Davies. 

Whitney is right now leading efforts on a huge project with ITIF to redesign the voting experience for people with disabilities. She's deep into work on a cool Open IDEO project, too, that is working on the same problem from a different angle: by opening up the idea generation and early design ideas to anyone in the world who wants to contribute. In her spare time, Whitney runs a consulting practice called WQUsability

Drew was one of the brains behind an early, brilliant project sponsored by the US Election Assistance Commission and AIGA's Design For Democracy Project to conduct design research and develop best practices for design in elections. Drew is a honcho at Oxide Design, Co

But there are many others who will contribute to the research. I'll introduce them later in the campaign. Some of the research may be done in a flash format. That is, I announce a study coming up, and recruit like crazy over social networks for volunteers to help us collect data. I did this for a study in San Francisco and Oakland in December 2011, and the experience was amazing. Some of the observations surprised the 16 experienced user researchers and Bay Area voters. (Warning: these insights are controversial.) 

Importantly, many wonderful people have helped put together the Kickstarter campaign. Boon Sheridan helped me strategize and come up with the rewards. Michelle Gray is the PR/communications wonk. Adam Connor is the artist behind Chad Butterfly. Jared Spool is my key advisor (he also needs a new bio). Some of these amazing people may be part of the research, writing, and publishing if we get funded. 

By the way, for those of you who have met Chad Butterfly (did you see what we did there?) on Twitter, he's our project mascot. It is his likeness that will appear on the thank-you post cards and on the field guides. We'll have final art depicting Chad soon. 

To the Backers so far: THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!