Referendum Box Concept

I decided to move away from paper based system to something which does not require a person to be literate to use. For that I decided to make it audio based interface and came up with a very simple device which just has 2 buttons for Yes / No, a small display for visual notifications and audio output in terms of a loud speaker and/or audio jack for headset.
This device could be installed in bicycles / motorcycles of the people who provide some kind of door to door delivery, such as a newspaper man, milk man, post man etc. It would have a GSM SIM card to update vote immediately as they are casted. The process was simple, the delivery person will come to your home, if there is a new question put up for referendum he will ask you to vote on it. You can read the question on display or listen to it through the speaker, then press Yes / No button to vote. There were still few things which were not figured out.
1. How to ensure that the person can vote only once for a particular issue?
2. How to ensure the integrity of the delivery person carrying out voting by taking this device home to home. He could dkip home deliberately or influence people's vote.
3. The device was prone to vandalism being outside mounted on a vehicle.
4. Will people be comfortable voting on a issue immediately after getting to the question for the first time? Or do they need to know the question beforehand to be discussed with others and to read/think about it? If they do need some time before voting then in what other ways they could be informed about the issue?
I was also thinking of displaying the current status of the results as the person votes. This will provide them with visual and audio feedback to ensure that their vote has been registered correctly and it has been counted. This also might help in creating buzz so that people become curious about how the Yes and No votes' ratio is changing according to time. This could make people proactive about motivating others to cast their vote and generate discussion.
To quickly test some of these thing I thought of creating a prototype. I didn't go for a physical prototype as it would have consumed lot of time but the functionality and the interaction could be conveyed in different form. I made a quick android app using processing for the same and added a question which was relevant to all of us in CIID studio. I went around and asked people to use it in front of me.
Android app
People in studio were comfortable in using the app, some of them wanted to see the results before answering the question and some of them had a peek at the results after the answered the question. They were also comfortable in answering the question on the spot since many of them had been discussion about the topic already for few days. Few of them were awkward about answering the question in front of me so they turned around and try to cover the phone but the question was not as controversial so it was okay. But the design should provide some kind of privacy.
I looked at what all technology was required for creating this device. It was display, buttons, audio output and networking. And all of these are present in public pay-phones. It was useless to create these new devices when the complete package was already existing! So, I tried to look into how this system could e built using pay-phones and what type security measures could be provided for problems mentioned earlier.

Comments are closed.