Politify (Election 2012) Design
Finalized "Personal" Page Design
Our focus was to create an intuitive and fast way to visualize and comprehend the effects of the two presidential candidates' tax and spending plans. Using large numbers, charts, and hierarchical design, we achieved an interface that did exactly that.
Figure 1: The Layout.
The layout of the page purposefully attracts attendtion to the right of the page, to create initial curiousity, then textual instructions and large UI elements in the left column provide a clear call to action.
Figure 2: Big Numbers.
In the first version of our app, we had two numbers—representing taxes and services—but we soon realized that these two were distracting from one another. The single number (the numberical sum of tax changes and service benefit changes), allows a more definitive comparison for the first-time user.
Figure 3: Lots of Graphs.
When using the site, we wanted to find the most efficient way to spread information about different policies. The donut chart allows a user to quickly view different effects, with minimal mouse movement. To show the two different categories of policy changes, we used two charts per candidate—one for taxes, one for services.
Finalized National Page Design elements
Unlike the personal page, the national page dealt in aggregate terms. Here, therefore, a donut chart of different policies simply didn't make sense. Instead we show the ratio between spending and services, and how the balance is affected as a result.
Figure 4: Aggregate Effects.
To show the net effect on the short-term economy, we again chose to represent the data with one large number. To allow users to gleen more information from the page, we also included the individual numbers of taxes and spending. In addition, we used arrows instead of plus and minus symbols, to better represent the true nature of the situation. The plus sign (+) on a red number could be wildly confusing, when everywhere else on the site this is coupled with the green color.
Figure 5: Aggregate Breakdown.
In addition to showing the total impact of each candidate's plan, we also went a little further, to analyze the severity of the situation. To show the class-based impacts, we included a graph split by quintile.