The Challenge


How might we design an accessible election experience for everyone? read the brief


MyVote Smartphone App (Refined)

MyVote is a smartphone application concept designed to enable mobile voting from anywhere in the world.

MyVote provides four key benefits to how we vote in America today.

Flexibility – MyVote will allow citizens to participate in elections from anywhere in the world. They may vote at their convenience and take as much time as they need.

Integration – To meet the needs of everyone, multiple voting options will always be required. MyVote will join the elections ecosystem as one voting option among several.

Retention – MyVote will provide easy access to the voting system which will increase voter participation. The convenience of the service will increase return voters and even promote participation in less popular votes.

Extension – MyVote will open new opportunities for other service and experience innovations around voting in the digital/technology, mobile, and social spaces.

Tenets serve as guiding principles and validate design choices made along the way.

Simplicity – The application should be easy to use. The experience should be limited to the core features designed for the purpose of voting and refrain from unnecessary bloating.

Transparency – The application should communicate effectively and efficiently. The design should help guide users in understanding where they are, what they are doing, and where they are going.

Accessibility – The design should adhere to accessibility and usability standards.

Privacy – The application should enable a private registration and voting experience. The design should provide appropriate information and control of stored and shared data on the device as well as within the system.

Security – The application should be fully secure not only for the individual registrant but for the overall voting system.

How will this concept improve election accessibility for everyone?
The iPhone provides a solid framework for accessibility enabled by the device as well as the human interaction guidelines. Mobile & Hearing Impairment – The nature of the iPhone itself solves for these issues. The device is portable and consists of a visual screens. Vision Impairment – The iPhone offers several options available for different degrees of sight including: a screen reader, magnification, high contrast, and speak selection. Physical Impairment – The iPhone offers several options available for different degrees of motor capabilities including: speak selection, and assistive touch. Language Translation – The iPhone allows users to select their preferred language. MyVote will provide translations for relevant languages and users will be enabled to vote in their own language.
How well does this concept adapt to the changing needs of different voter communities?
The momentum mobile technology has been accruing over the last several years is going to continue to rapidly advance. The need for a mobile system in which people may vote should be made safe and easy to access from anywhere at any time.
What kinds of resources – whether time, money, people, partnerships, technology or otherwise – will be needed to get this concept off the ground?
After exploring the key features of the app, there are still major topics to consider. Security – This app must be safe and secure, not only for individuals, but for the system. We must ensure every vote is counted once and is submitted by an individual citizen. A mobile security expert will need to be consulted. Integration – This app should integrate into the existing voting system without having to make significant alterations to the system itself. This topic is a policy as well as a technology issue. Experts in these areas should be consulted. Ownership – Who should be responsible for the development of this app, government or private interests? There is an argument made for either. Perception – How will the public respond to the release of this app? What measure can we take to ensure a positive reaction and utilization of this tool? Design – There remains several gaps in the design that need attention after consulting with the appropriate experts. Interaction and visual design needs to address accessibility and usability with thorough testing.
My Virtual Team
Thank you Jake Zukowski for critiquing my work!


Join the conversation and post a comment.

Edmund Ng

November 12, 2013, 16:32PM
The presentation download link isn't working. My greatest fear would be authentication. Rather than showing the driver's licence, it might be great if the election department could send an authentication code where the voter could login to to cast their vote.

Edmund Ng

Marie Leaf

October 30, 2012, 19:43PM
From the 10,000 foot view, how can this product mitigate smart phone access inequality?


August 07, 2012, 20:56PM
Very good idea and simple working flow. My concern is that the data of personal driver's license may be hard to reach event you cooperate with the State or Election office.

Steve Chessin

April 27, 2012, 01:36AM
This is great for voter registration. This is terrible for voting, as there is no auditable paper record of the vote. How do you know that the choice you make on your smart phone is the one that will be tallied by the central computer? It suffers from all the defects of paperless voting.


April 09, 2012, 20:14PM
Here's an interesting development from the New York Times relating to smart-phones and elections. You can't actually vote from this app, but there are a lot of great ideas for the US 2012 Presidential Election

Ann Tyler

April 05, 2012, 14:18PM
Great idea David. As someone who dreads the long lines associated with voting, this idea completely eliminates that issue. The app would make voting easier, faster and simply put, a painless process for the voter. With the current system, people need to leave work or come into work late just in order to vote. I'm sure this has a negative impact on efficiency and overall work completed. It also adds stress to the lives of the workers and their bosses who need them in the office completing their various tasks. This app would allow people to go about their normal lives and still have their voice heard through the voting process. If this concept comes into fruition, I guarantee a lot more people, especially young people, will vote and vote with pride.

Paul Reader

March 28, 2012, 19:54PM
Congratulations David.
As one who cannot justify the cost of a smartphone I have largely left commenting to those who are familiar with them. Nevertheless, as Vincent has said I am sure this is a feasible option. I am reminded of the comment, made early in the challenge, that members of the sight-impaired community are keen to embrace the prospect of using smartphones as a means to voting. Taking this into realisation will provide the opportunity to bring your and their expectations to fruition. Hopefully those of us in other parts of the world will be able to follow the realisation of your concept.

Vincent Cheng

March 28, 2012, 21:18PM
Echoing Paul's Congrats. Really impressed with how your visualizations brought the power of mobile voting to life David!

Paul, great point on how the assistive capabilities of smartphones have been embraced by various communities.


March 29, 2012, 20:16PM
Thanks guys! This challenge has been an interesting experience, I look forward to seeing the process and eventual results of the Realization phase.

Work well ;)

Whitney Quesenbery

April 03, 2012, 20:59PM
David, Adding my congratulations. The thoughtful detail looking at how something as complicated as registering to vote or marking a ballot could fit onto a tiny screen was very impressive.

Ashley Jablow

March 21, 2012, 23:23PM
Really nice refinements David - great work!


March 22, 2012, 20:30PM
Thanks Ashley! I think this work is a good start for a very complex endeavor. It'll be interesting to see what innovations gain traction for mobile voting in the near future.

Christian Ventez

March 20, 2012, 18:44PM
I had the same idea... in order to refine it you should check a site related with braille touchpad for smartphones. this will help visual impaired people to vote.... you may found the site on my contribution... good luck =)


March 20, 2012, 18:52PM
Thanks for the advice Christian, if only we had more time! ;)

Christian Ventez

March 20, 2012, 19:55PM bad, i´m a total newbie here on OpenIDEO...i thought, you can refine your concept anytime you want :S

Meena Kadri

March 20, 2012, 20:35PM
No worries & welcome, Christian! Yep – time is of the essence – we find it motivates folks to think creatively ahead of the Evaluation phase which starts tomorrow.

Whitney Quesenbery

March 20, 2012, 22:26PM
I'm not sure you need a Braille touchpad - smartphones have other ways of providing non-visual access through audio and vibration feedback.

Christian Ventez

March 21, 2012, 00:42AM
well is not mandatory, but using Audio and vibration the usir probably will need some training to use the tool...a braile touch screen may be more natural for voters with visual my opnion, the hardware should be adpated for the user special needs and not the oposite.

it may sound too expensive, but i`m not thinking in a "general purpose mobile device for visual impaired people", i`m thinking in a special "braile cover" for the touch screen with specific instructions to show candidates and vote for them, with a sound feedback as you said


March 15, 2012, 21:03PM
Congrats David on this post joining our Top 20 shortlist! We especially loved the steps you took to outline the interaction a voter would experience when using the app.

During this Refinement phase, let's think about how your great mockups might get adapted for different voter needs and abilities. Our Concepting Personas, with examples of different voters, could be a great place to start For more information on specific ways to iterate and update your concept, check and


March 11, 2012, 01:04AM
I've added a few new screens, looking at the profile area. There are three main sections: personal and contact information, registration information, and voting history.

Meena Kadri

March 19, 2012, 22:41PM
Nice one, David!

Meena Kadri

March 20, 2012, 20:37PM
And wohoo – new visualisations to boot – you're on fire!


March 20, 2012, 22:01PM
Thanks Meena! I do what I can ;)

Whitney Quesenbery

March 20, 2012, 22:25PM
David, the new visualizations/scenarios are really great. Could you do one more thing: use the text from the image as the caption. That way, everyone will be able to follow the story, even if they can't see the great mockups you have done.

Vincent Cheng

March 25, 2012, 15:31PM
Great visualization mockups David! Really brings the potential of mobile voting to life.

Vincent Cheng

March 25, 2012, 15:38PM
Oh, and for what it's worth, here's some more thoughts on benefits of mobile & online voting, and how implementing this is indeed feasible, including in regards to security:

Meena Kadri

March 05, 2012, 06:21AM
Great stuff, David! After having many others keen on a mobile voting app, it's great to see someone who has started to tease out the details of how this might work. Tip: If you hit the Update button on the right of your post you could go in search terms like "phone", "mobile" and "app" add that post to your Build Upon feature. That way the people who wrote these various posts will all get email notifications and are likely to come and join the brilliant conversation you've started here as well. Creativity loves company, right? :^)


March 05, 2012, 06:43AM
I was wondering how I could tie this effort into the larger conversation, that's rad! I've added a few of the Inspiration posts I referred to while working on these flows. Thanks for the tip Meena!

Paul Reader

March 05, 2012, 06:57AM
Also David have a look at the Collaboration Map - you will see the links you have created. If someone builds on your idea their concept will be linked to yours in the same way The focus of the map when you access it is, of course, this concept - the same is true of all the other links in the map so each idea gets equal merit in the network.


March 05, 2012, 17:26PM
Nice, thanks for the tip Paul!
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