Halfway Through Capstone, 2k19

Kat Fenton
Senior Capstone 2019-Spring
4 min readJan 28, 2019

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But am I really?

At the end of last semester, I decided to change my capstone. Originally my concept involved showing how bullying in video games would look in the real world but I felt like this could get out of hand too easily. So I decided to rework my concept.

While trying to come up with an idea that has social impact, my coworkers at my co-op started a conversation about the Brett Kavanaugh case. It was spoken about in hushed tones and both sides of the argument were wrought with frustration. Different, often opposing facts were used by each side. The argument made me think of my own experiences. Watching the news, whenever the two sides were brought together to discuss important policies or candidates, they often ended in mudslinging or yelling. Discussions between friends often turned hostile. Don’t even get me started on the Facebook fights.

So I began thinking that we needed a better source of non-biased information. One that didn’t survive off of clicks and dramatized news, one that facilitated a better understanding of what we’re voting on and who’s at the podium.

Simple politics was born. Originally created to help educate people on the workings of the government, I’m now working to make it a tool to help voters feel more informed about their ballot. The main premise is that it’s simple. No political jargon, no dramatic headlines, no drawing of party lines. Simple.

First steps were to outline my concept and then do some research. I started with why people weren’t voting, what’s being done to get people to vote, etc. I found some simple demographics. White, male men older than 40 with college level education or higher vote the most. So I set my target audience at new voters, ages 17–25 who come from middle class and low income families. I decided not to specify education level as content should be as simple and straight forward as possible.

By deciding to go with a website, I’m facilitating ease of access. People do not need to own a computer or smartphone, they can go to the library or a friends to gain access. It also allows for further expansion on the site as well as interaction with voters. With all that in mind, I began branding ideation. By experimenting with different mediums for my logo, I was able to look at a variety of different options for the look and feel of my logo.

By using contrasting typefaces, I’m creating a level of interest while also promoting the “Simple” part of the name and the basis of my idea. The tagline is “Know Your Vote”.

I’m currently experimenting with this style of graphic as well as color palette, photography, icons, and supplementary graphics. My two typefaces are Roboto Slab and Raleway. They have nice contrast and are formal, but not too stiff. I’ve also settled on my sitemap. Keeping it simple, I’m limiting my site menu to 4 items.

My sitemap has expanded to include a quiz match, to help voters find which politicians might fit their beliefs. It’s not limited to two parties and will present a variety of options on the national, state, and local levels.

After settling on my sitemap, I’ve begun sketching out my wireframes. I’m focusing on overall layout and ease of navigation on the site. While I want most of my information up front, I don’t want to overwhelm visitors to the site. Ballot issues and politicians will be presented in expandable tidbits.

I’ve also explored sites that are already out. One of the main ones that was recommended to League of Women Voters. The site is a bit janky and hard to use, but the premise behind giving voters an information tool is the same. They use a blog style layout to inform readers. Another great one that I found was Vote411. It uses your address to give you personalized information on upcoming ballots.

Politician profiles will include links to their social media or easy ways to get into contact with them as well as their stance on hot topics and a bit of their background. Their profiles will also contain events that they will be at in the future to provide people a way to see them in person.

Currently, I’m putting my wireframes into photoshop and my next step will be to begin compiling my sketch files. I’m also working to gather and simplify my content in an excel spreadsheet.

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