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Metaphor Assignment

HF770 Spring06 Gaurav Shah

How would I collect the data for the rich picture? To create a rich picture I will start with interviewing the key users and the primary stakeholders who affect the way the voters use the system. If I am doing this at the time of elections (that are other than federal) then, I would go to the polling booths and ask the voters about their experiences while voting. There have been interviews like these done in the past and voters could be asked questions especially if this study is done at the federal level (Lydia, 2005 and Riley, 2004). I would ask them questions like what equipment they used to vote, did they face any problems while using them, were there any tasks or functions that confused them or that made their life easier. By this way I would identify key positive and negative (problems) factors in the current system. I would also find out the demographics of the key users, especially their age, literary general, as well as computer related, and their comfort levels with using technology. After talking to the key users I would talk to the other primary stakeholders, which in this case would be the federal election commission and the officials at the secretary of states office who administer the elections and try to find out what problems they face with the current voting system. Also, what are their requirements for a perfect voting system and what criteria they use to approve voting equipments? I would then conduct some research through journals and scholarly articles on the kinds of voting equipments being used at the federal elections, problems in those equipments, and what is the outcome due to these problems (error in counting or error in casting the vote). Next I would interview other stakeholders who are involved in training the voters on how to use the voting systems. This could either be the federal election commission or the candidates or in some cases colleges and universities. I would also hold brainstorming sessions where key users could come in and outline what kind of system they would like to have that makes the voting process very simple to use and also encourages voters to come to vote. These sessions would also involve officials from the federal government and other stakeholders who can provide us with the federal requirements in designing this system. Storyboarding sessions can be conducted where users can be asked to create a storyboard explaining how they cast a vote on the ballot (or any other equipment they use). I would also ask the federal election commission to create storyboards for me explaining how voters should be casting their votes. This will help me find any discrepancies there are in the actual process vs. how the voters vote. These sessions will give me an insight on how effective the trainings are. And finally, these sessions will help me understand how votes are counted after the voting is finished. I would then conduct some research on the use of technology in the electoral process. Identify the pros and cons of using technology and computers and also find out any success or failure stories on the use of technology. My next step will be to interview users who have been using touch screen interfaces at various locations (e.g. fast food chain, supermarkets, ATMs) and finding out their experiences with these systems. Some of these users will or could be the key users of the voting system. This will help me understand what users are already familiar with and are comfortable using. This in turn will facilitate

me in designing the new system that will be comfortable for the users to use, not confusing, and error free. List of Primary and Secondary Stakeholders Stakeholders Primary Stakeholders Voters Main Objectives Federal Government (Federal Election Commission) Candidates State Government Have trust in the voting system To get a positive experience from voting To successfully vote for their chosen candidate Use the system without any confusion Avoid any mistakes while voting Avoid Long waiting lines Use the system without any assistance Protect privacy Finish voting as soon as possible Use the system in preferred language To ensure the long-term health of the democracy To ensure security of the voting equipment To increase voter turnout To conduct elections in a fair manner Voter confusions in selecting the right candidate using the voting equipments To increase voter turnout To train voters on using the voting system To make election day successful To select the best voting equipment at a low price To secure voting equipment after voting is done To encourage voting among communities To train poll workers on using the voting equipment To deploy voting equipments at polling booths To train voters on using the

Secondary Stakeholders The citizens of the country Employers/Organizations Manufacturers of current voting systems

Poll Workers

Manufacturer of voting equipments

equipment To test and maintain the equipments To avoid system crash down Keep some sort of physical evidence on what the voters voted (in case the system failed) To deal with any software bugs that would affecting the outcome of the elections To successfully set up poll equipments To securely transmit the results to the election officials To troubleshoot system failures To assist voters in using the system To meet the federal and state requirements on voting equipments To stand against tough competition from other manufacturers To get a fair election process and a president for the country Loss of productivity at work To start manufacturing touch screen systems? To look for other avenues to sell their product

Design requirements for the touch screen interface: This following are the design requirements for the touch screen voting system (TSVS). The key users of this system will be the voters voting at poll booths during federal elections and hence the requirements list will primarily focus on the voters. The target audience is a diverse group of people in terms of age, literacy levels - general and computer related, comfort using technology, comfort using touch screen interfaces, speaking different languages, disabled, etc. Thus, for TSVS to be widely accepted and used, these requirements are utmost important and must be thought of. In perspective of: Age Requirements Size of touch screen buttons Colors suitable for 18 year olds to old age people Not to have too much information on the screen Not to strain users short-term memory Use icons or text? Should use less computer language and use metaphors from previous voting systems Provide the interface in different languages ones that are most commonly spoken in the country (e.g. English, Spanish) Make the TSVS accessible enough for everyone to be able to use (e.g. have Braille on the system for the blind users) At every tap on the screen provide feedback to the users audible or visible Give a printout of the candidate the user selected Use an interface that is known to users (e.g. ATM machines) Pick a language and a set of icons that are from the previous voting systems Provide surrounding panels so that other voters or poll workers cannot peek into The system should be completely hack proof Prevent any bugs or software errors, if there are any a system restart should take care of it Not rely on the network too much for transferring data, (what if the network is hacked into or is down and users cannot vote) Maintain lower costs so that states can afford them Low maintenance required An easy way to backup the votes given by voters and send them to the election officials As minimal as possible

Literacy Levels

Languages

Accessibility

Feedback

Touch Screen Interface

Maintain Privacy Security Reliable Network Reliability

Cost Maintenance Transmit votes Training

Overall the system has to be trustworthy, secure, feedback oriented, low maintenance, and provide a familiar interface.

Lessons learned from doing this exercise Learning how to create a rich picture was the biggest lesson for me from this exercise. Creating a rich picture was much more of a learning process then just having read the article assigned in class. It was a fun and rich experience. I now know what the first step is when designing a product/service. Having not raised in the United States and never an opportunity to vote, this exercise taught me the electoral process in the United States federal elections. Rich Picture helped me understand the stakeholders involved in the electoral process, what the underlying structure is in this process, and what relationships exists in between the stakeholders. In general it taught me how to gain knowledge of a domain where a designer sometimes would have no clue about. In this process I also learnt various data collection techniques that helped me gather data to understand the stakeholders and their concerns. Before I started doing the assignment I was under the impression that there would not be more then 3-4 stakeholders that are involved. However, the rich picture process proved me wrong and walked me through the path of identifying each and every stakeholder that could be involved, which turned out to be a lot more than I thought. It was also a helpful exercise to learn the concerns of each of these stakeholders and get a different view point. I am a person who believes that technology should replace everything wherever possible and the voting system was one of it. However, this exercise has helped me realize how difficult it is to replace traditional systems with existing or emerging technologies especially when you have a diverse group of stakeholders and each of them have their own concerns. And unless you address these concerns no matter how high-tech the solution is, it is never going to work.

References Bederson, B. B., Lee, B., Sherman, R. M., Herrnson, P. S., & Niemi, R. G. (2003). Electronic voting system usability issues. SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems. (p. 145152). New York, NY: ACM Press. Federal Election Commission. (2003, Oct.). Developing a User-Centered Voting System Washington, DC: Author. Fischer, E. A. (2003, Nov. 4). Retrieved Feb. 2, 2006, from www.epic.org/privacy/voting/crsreport.pdf Herrnson, P. S., Bederson, B. B., & Abbe, O. G. (2002, Dec. 2). Retrieved Feb. 2, 2006, from http://www.capc.umd.edu/rpts/MD_EVoteEval.pdf Kohno, T., Stubblefield, A., Rubin, A. D., & Wallach, D. S. (2004). Analysis of an Electronic Voting System. IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2004. IEEE Computer Society Press. Lydia, L. (2005, Aug. 4). The struggle for voting rights turns to Boston. The Boston Globe. Mercuri, R. (2002, July 11). Retrieved Feb. 11, 2006, from http://www.notablesoftware.com/Papers/UPAPaper.html Monk, A. & Howard, S. (1998). Methods & tools: the rich picture: a tool for reasoning about work context. Interactions, 5(2), 21-30. Riley, B. (2004, Oct. 20). Exit poll limits will stay. Las Vegas Review-Journal. Selker, T., Fischer, E. A., Bederson, B. B., Mccormack, C., & Nass, C. (2003). Voting: user experience, technology and practice. CHI 03 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems. (p. 700-701). New York, NY: ACM Press. Simons, B. (2004). Electronic Voting Systems: the Good, the Bad, and the Stupid. Queue, 2(7), 20-26. Williams, B. J. & King, M. S. (2004). Implementing voting systems: the Georgia method. Communications of the ACM, 47(10), 39-42.