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Democracy is a Design Problem
March 4, 2020

Dana Chisnell, Center for Civic Design

Every great designed experience starts with the stories of individual humans. At the Center for Civic Design, Dana Chisnell and her team collected thousands of stories from U.S. voters over five years. The stories revealed two massive gaps in the process.

First, people who administer elections and voters have very different mental models of the process of voting. The second gap was between privileged voters and burdened voters. These gaps explained why it’s harder than it should be to vote in the U.S. and showed that policies meant to make things better had unintended consequences that actually make it worse.

About the Speaker

Dana Chisnell, @danachis, relentlessly works across government pushing teams to sincerely care about the needs of the people they’re serving through and by design. She does this by asking hard questions to help teams know whether they’re working on solving the right problems and solving the problems right.

Dana brings professional design practices to thousands of election officials every year through presentations and workshops on how to improve ballots, voter guides, web sites, and other election materials to ensure voter intent. Her team at the Center for Civic Design was the first to map the experience of American voters.

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