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Announcing the Pixo Prize-winners of PygHack 2018

Online election guide We Choose Our Future won for best UX

The second annual PygHack — a 24-hour hackathon at Research Park — took place in September. Just like last year, Pixo had a few hands in the hack. We staffed a table with consultants (and candy!) while the hack took place, and afterward, we judged the final hacks and awarded a Pixo Prize for best user experience (UX).

At a hackathon, user experience is typically not at the top of everyone’s list of priorities. Most people are just trying to get through the 24 hours with a functioning product to show for it.

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wechooseourfuture.org (Post-election day!)

But this year, we found a clear winner in the We Choose Our Future team. They built a live website for Champaign County voters to educate themselves and find all the local relevant election information collected in one place.

We were most impressed by how the WCOF team had prioritized the information on the site. A great way to get into the mindset of your users is to simply think about the questions they may be asking when they visit your site. The order of information on We Choose Our Future is clear and realistic:

  • When can I vote?
  • How do I register?
  • How can I vote? and finally,
  • Who am I voting for?

Readers tend to read websites in an F-shaped pattern, scanning their eyes along the left side of the page and only moving horizontally when they see key words that catch their attention. When we design site navigation, for instance, we place the highest-priority sections on the left, and leave the righthand side for lower-priority content (sorry not sorry, About section).

The We Choose Our Future team were equally thoughtful in their placement of information from left to right, placing information like “Check your registration status” on the left and lower priority information like grace periods for registration further to the right.

They also considered the future users of their creation. They plan for the back-end of the site to be powered by a simple spreadsheet and for the code to be open-source, so that any county or group can eventually use the same resource for their own elections with minimal effort.

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The We Choose Our Future team with the Pixo UX/D crew, full of barbecue and friendship.

Last week, the Pixo UX and Design team invited the We Choose Our Future team to lunch here at our office. The WCOF team chose Black Dog for lunch (we knew they were smart). As we ate, we learned that the group — a mix of Research Park and Pavlov Media colleagues, plus one passionate citizen — didn’t arrive at PygHack as a team, which is a rarity! We were inspired by their story and had a great time chatting about the origin of their site and its exciting potential future.

If you’re a designer or developer and are interested in helping We Choose Our Future further their project, contact the team at wechooseourfuture@gmail.com.

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