I choose to redesign a website dedicated to explaining the Texas voting process into a more simplified graphic for new Texas voters. I choose this because I kept seeing different YouTubers trying to encourage people to vote, especially first-time voters. With that, I kept seeing the information provided in ways that were too broad to help a new voter in a specific state, information that wasn’t complete, or information that was complex or time-consuming to sift through. Therefore, I decided to make a more simplified graphic that goes over the basics for new Texas voters all in one place. Also, since an election is approaching, I felt like to project was relevant.
I choose to transition the content from a webpage to a graphic because it’s easier not to have to click multiple pages to get all the information needed. I also felt like a graphic was more visually appealing with colors and illustrations. People tend to prefer reading graphics over text blocks, so I did my best to keep everything simplified but still informative.
I also tried to keep the graphic from being dated by being more general with the dates since we’re already in the middle of early voting methods at this point in the 2020 election. I feel like dates would have been more readable. However, by giving the reasoning for how the dates work, my goal is for new voters to learn how to predict some of the future election dates, so they don’t have to look all of them up constantly.
I split the graphic up into different color-coded sections so that people would see a timeline or order of steps without dates. Therefore, first up was registering to vote and checking voter registration. Then, I put the early voting processes with early voting and mail-in ballots. Finally, I concluded it with the election day process and what people need to vote in person.
I choose to make the graphic in Canva since I was looking for a quicker method since I’d burned a lot of time trying different methods with my first project idea. Canva already provides free illustrations and templates that I could build from instead of making everything from scratch. I also like that the links are still clickable even if they’re in a graphic rather than a document or webpage.
Problem: Many people are being encouraged to vote right now, but a lot of different websites and people are trying to explain different voting processes to a general audience in ways that are either not specific enough or have too much information. There’s a lot of new voters, in the 2020 election and in future elections, who didn’t learn about the voting process well enough in school to understand how to participate. Therefore, there’s a need for a specific piece of content that explains the basics of the voting processes to new voters.
One website that tries to explain the voting process is votetexas.gov. I was specifically inspired to create a graphic that explains the process with less clicking by this webpage: https://www.votetexas.gov/voting/index.html. It tries to do the whole who, what, where, when, how thing, but with all the different clicking between that and the specific categories of people, it can be hard to get information quickly. I also feel like there isn’t really a place for college students to learn about stuff in a specific category on that website. I felt like the students’ tab was more for high school students.
Solution: A graphic can be created to display all the basics of the different election processes in one place in a visually attractive and readable design. I think this should be done for each state, but I choose to create one for Texas since that’s the state I currently vote in. Making the processes easier to understand could potentially increase voter turnout, especially in new voters, who may choose not to vote because they don’t know how the methods work.
I choose to put all the different processes on the same graphic and the important categories, such as who, when, where, what, and how, when relevant to the specific voting process. This prevents people from sifting through all the different sections and pages to get basic information. If they want more detailed information than the graphic, I put links to various pages I thought were helpful in the processes and the general website link. This is to make information less overwhelming and time-consuming to learn, which may lead to better voter turnout in new voters.
I decided to cut out all of the military content since I was trying to focus on the audience of new voters, such as high school and college voters. I also left out a lot of the extra detail since I wanted to focus on the basics of the process and the minimum information people need to know to participate.
I think it would have been beneficial to add in is a resource for researching candidates, but I felt like that was a whole other can of worms that would have added more complexity than I wanted in the graphic since it mainly focused on the voting processes.
I also excluded dates and deadlines that weren’t an always since I wanted to make the graphic relevant beyond the 2020 election since I’m making it in the middle of the 2020 election. By doing that, I’m hoping to increase its relevance to a more extended period.
I tried to create a neutral piece that didn’t involve any political parties because I wanted people to see the graphic as a purely informative resource.
I used color to give a timeline or order to the processes without using dates. The first block is the registration and the checking of registration, the second is early voting and mail-in ballots, and the third is Election Day voting and in-person voting details.
I tried to keep information simple and easy to read by writing in bullet points and by not using full sentences. I also used different capitalizations to organize and make information easier to read. I also labeled my links, so people knew what they were and whether they should click them or not.
I added illustrations to help illustrate the processes a bit. However, it was more to draw people’s attention to the different sections. One fault of the webpages was that there wasn’t much color or images to attract people’s attention.
Overall, I think graphics are just more appealing to the age group I’m trying to inform over text blocks on webpages.