At Intuitive Company, we specialize in simplifying interactions with complex systems. When the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society put out a call to "Design the Voting System of Tomorrow", we were eager to participate.

The challenge was to create a "cutting-edge, innovative, and interactive user experience that would redefine the future of voting" and be judged on criteria such as innovation, ease of use and consideration of multiple facets of the voting experience.

Voting seems relatively simple on the surface – select a preferred option from a set of defined choices – but can be challenging in practice, as demonstrated by the infamous Palm Beach County “butterfly ballot” from the 2000 presidential election.

Moreover, voting goes beyond casting a ballot. An election is a complex system that includes registration, training, set-up, troubleshooting, and tabulating, to name just a few key elements.

We approached this challenge as we would any other design problem – with a user-centered design process. Our project plan included research, design and testing phases:

  • In the initial research phase we conducted a review of existing guidelines, voting systems, and resources, and interviewed representative voters and election volunteers.
  • We then iteratively designed wireframes to define the workflow and content of our proposed solution. We tested the usability of these wireframes with prospective end-users.
  • Finally, we create a demonstration prototype that highlights the key features and potential benefits of our system, which we call Intuitive Voting.

Our multidisciplinary team consisted of professionals in user experience research, design, and development.

Research & Usability

Rob Tannen, PhD Rob Tannen, PhD
Steve Jones Steve Jones
Victor Yocco, PhD Victor Yocco, PhD

Design & Prototyping

Andrew Harvard Andrew Harvard
Evan Wendel Evan Wendel
Ryan Johnson Ryan Johnson


Ed Hertzog Ed Hertzog
Joe DeLorenzo Joe DeLorenzo
Matt Lewis Matt Lewis

In order to focus our effort around such a broad challenge, we defined three key user stories that cover a representative range of user needs and tasks:

  1. A first-time voter who needs to register and subsequently vote in person
  2. An experienced voter who needs to request and submit an absentee ballot
  3. An election volunteer who needs training to perform support tasks on election day

For each of these stories, we organized interactions across three phases: Pre-Election, Election Day, and Post-Election as diagrammed below.

Voting Diagram