The long-awaited 2016 Presidential Election season is finally here. If someone had told you four years ago that Donald Trump would be leading in the GOP Primaries, would you have believed them? Yet the Presidential candidates aren’t the only ones stirring up the race. Digital and social media showed off their capabilities in the 2012 election, and they’ve already begun to establish their dominance within the bubble of American politics. Yet with this revolution comes an overwhelming myriad of sources. So whether you’re feeling the Bern, on the Trump Train or Cruzing down the political highway, we’re crafting a solution for sorting through the digital labyrinth of political information.
The Polidex app will simplify the way voters gather their information by serving as a fully customizable, one-stop-shop for political news and happenings. A news feed with stories from various media outlets (Real Clear Politics-esque) will be the homepage each user sees when he or she opens the app. In addition to serving as a source for news information, the app will feature the following pages: Campaign Donation Tracking, Representative Information Listings, Bill Summaries and Polling Data.
Like a political fingerprint, the Polidex app will be different for each user who downloads it to their device.
When users login to create an account, the first thing they will see is a short 5–10 question survey about top issues. We will run these results through an algorithm that will place the user on a scale of their political identity. The user can adjust his or her position on the scale if they do not agree with the results. They will then be asked to identify the causes they care most about, such as LGBT rights, education, environment and foreign policy. From here, the user’s homepage will be adjusted based on their political identity and top issues. This will not be the only information on the news feed, but the interests most important to each user will be closer towards the top.
The rest of the information available on the app will be customized for each user with location services. Users will be able to access a list of local, state and national representatives coupled with contact information for each. There will also be information on national congressional votes that includes how each users’ representatives vote on the bill and a list of 2–3 state issues/bills related to the same issue.
We will also provide a similar feature for tracking campaign donations. Each user will see a list of the top 10 federal donors along with which candidates, parties and groups their donations have been gifted. There will then be an option for users to see a list of donors in their community. We believe that this will be listed by county, so the user’s location services will have to be turned on to utilize this feature.
We understand that people live busy lives and are constantly having information thrown their way throughout the day. This can lead to easily feeling overwhelmed at the thought of sorting through the political sphere for information voters truly care about — especially during a Presidential election cycle. We want voters to have an easily-accessible, customized information source that makes reading political news less of a hassle. Our target market of users 18–25 who are some of the largest influencers in a Presidential election. Although we will heavily focus our outreach to those seeking out Election 2016 information, we will work hard on providing customizable content so that users feel informed about what’s going on within their communities after November passes.
Our Climb to Everest
The largest roadblock that we can currently plan for is the undertaking of compiling individual federal donor data. Determining prominent donors is extremely easy, as the information is readily available with a simple Google search. Although the same information is available for any individual who donates $100 or more to a candidate or non-outside political group, finding the information for each county within the United States is seeming to be a large pill to swallow. We will start early in solving this issue, as we do want it to be an integral portion of our product. We will work to determine if there is any master list currently available of federal donors that we are currently missing. After that, we will work with our project advisor to determine if there is any way to simplify this process and help it fit into our tight production timeline.
Our Training Plan
We will have the uses and features of our product completely finalized by the time we complete our wireframe. For anything we determine cannot be competently completed, we will work to have a relevant replacement included in our project beta. Any kinks that were not anticipated for the beta will be worked out by the time our final product is due, and we will detail these challenges in our project blog.
Our Journey to the Summit
If everything goes as planned in developing Polidex, we hope to create an interactive web page to accompany the app. As of now, we do not expect the website to have any additional features not available on the app, but we will create any if necessary for functionality.
We will be prepared for any worst case scenarios with a solid Plan B. If everything goes wrong that could possibly go wrong, we will ensure that we have a functioning app, even though it might not be as customizable or extensive as what we have planned for.
Tiffany Jaquins: Project Coordinator and Account Executive
As a senior Advertising major from Atlanta, GA, I am passionate about building genuine, long-lasting relationships between brands and their consumers. My English minor and New Media Certificate studies have helped me understand the power in a story. I want to utilize this understanding o help brands tell their stories in a relatable and impactful ways as an Advertising Account Manager or Media Planner.
John Paul Stott: Creative Content Director and Lead Designer
I am a senior at the University of Georgia; pushing myself creatively has led me to pursue the New Media Certificate. This course of study has lead me to develop a greater understanding of how digital media works in our daily lives and how to create relevant content for individual media users.
Lauren Kew: Lead Researcher and Assistant Content Producer
As a senior Economics major from Roswell, GA, I have a fascination with data and what we are able to draw from data anaylsis. My Public Health minor and New Media certificate studies have cultivated an appreciation for the intersection of public sector business and technology. At this particular intersection, I hope to use my educational experience to become a Supply Chain Engineering Consultant for global non-profit firms.
Jessi Norton: Technology Director and Programmer
As a senior Magazine Journalism major, I love indulging my curiosity so I can share the amazing variety of the world around us through long-form storytelling. My New Media Certificate is teaching me how to tell those stories in new and innovative ways. I want to use these skills to build my own media platform that allows me to explore and write about the things that I love.