The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) is principally governed by the Electoral Act 2002, but also has responsibilities under other legislation, including the Local Government Act 1989. The organisation conducts Victorian State Parliamentary elections, as well as local council elections and various statutory elections and polls. The VEC’s vision is “All Victorians actively participating in their democracy”.
Working in partnership with Scope, the VEC commissioned Conduct to address communication challenges through Voters Voice – a native iPad app believed to be the first of its type in the world.
An estimated 280,000-300,000 Victorians experience communication difficulties As a result they may have difficulties with understanding and comprehension and/or getting a message across.
It’s estimated that many people with communication difficulties either avoid voting altogether or avoid going to voting centres due to the inherent difficulties communicating with election staff.
The VEC also faces the issue that 44% of the population that has difficulty with literacy and provides Easy English guides for electoral events and on its website.
Our brief was to provide enrolment and voting information and assist voters in communicating with election staff, paid carers, support staff and family during electoral events/on electoral matters.
Our focus was to drive inclusion and behaviour change through accessible design.
Collaborating with the VEC and Scope, we worked in an agile and iterative manner through concept workshops to wireframes and final code-based prototype. Each output was tested with representative users.
Our design activity delved into WCAG 2.0 AAA compliance working through aspects such as interaction design and colour contrast. Development leveraged Apple’s iOS Accessibility APIs, developer tools and utilities, particularly around speech synthesis to deliver text-to-speech functionality.
Underpinning the app is a Content Management System, giving the VEC a high degree of customisation opportunities and supporting changes based on built-in analytics.