I can’t wait until the US Election is over. Reddit is full, FULL!!!, of articles about politics at the moment. And yes, I know I can turn it off, but for some reason I don’t. Anway…

Today there was an article about the touch screen voting machines that are appearing to switch votes. You can watch the video here youtube.

I’m not completely convinced about the reporting itself, but what is interesting is the design of the touch screen itself.

No obvious place to press

In the video, the reported pressed the name of the candidate, while the demonstrator who uses the pencil, is pressing on the box on the left hand side of the candidate. Now I realise that the reporter is deliberatly trying to get the system to fail, but it does raise the point that if he is pressing on the candidates name, I am sure that there are other users who have tried too.

Even though the whole box is active to touch, they would have had better results with a clear, large red x placed somewhere in the active area. Then for the users who do not know what to press, the large red x would have suggested to them to try there first.

Larger active acreas

The active areas also look to be only a finger-print length in height. Designing this system with larger areas would have made the system easier to use for people who either have larger fingers or are less precise than others.

I also thought about having square boxes instead of long rectangles. You could use the same amount of real estate per candidate so you would still fit the same number of candidates on the screen.

I’d also be insterested to see how closely the design of these screens relates to the paper ballots used before.