Building something useful for election results night

Election results night is often a strange event for both the public and for journalists covering it.

The buildup of weeks and weeks of campaigning, gaffes and memes can often seem to deflate overnight as we watch Jeremy Vine dance about on the BBC’s virtual parliament, and try to stay awake while David Dimbleby leaves all other presenters in his wake.

For Times Digital, we wanted to make sure we were serving reader needs and not writing code for the sake of it. We wanted something useful that helped readers understand which seats were worth looking out for and an easy way to keep track of the latest developments.

In short, we didn’t want to build an interactive map.

So instead we built an election results dashboard — using a Laravel backend and an AngularJS frontend. We’ll have a more detailed piece on the technology behind the app after the election.

It allows you to sign up for email alerts on any UK constituency — as soon as the result is called readers will get an email giving them the overall winner, a full breakdown of the vote in that seat, as well as a running total of how each party is doing across the UK.

We’ve also flagged a list of key battlegrounds compiled by Times Red Box — seats we think will be crucial to telling the story of May 7. Each of these pages contain article links and short pieces by Red Box reporter Callum Jones telling you why you should care about these particular seats.

Constituencies can be saved so you can quickly flick between the seats you’re particularly interested in, and leaders’ constituencies are also flagged.

It’s been built responsively so it works on pretty much any device — you can also save it down as a homescreen icon if you’re keen to keep up to speed.

So if you want to keep track of the results as they come in later tonight — take a look at the dashboard, we think it’ll be very useful.