Heading 5
Scroll down to begin

Better US mobile app

The 2020 United States Presidential Election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3. US Citizens older than 18 will be able to cast a ballot and vote for who they want as their next president. However, through all this promotion on campus to motivate people to vote, there is an underrepresented group of students, the non US citizens, who are often forgotten and deemed irrelevant to the US’ political events. Better US is a mobile game app that helps international students, or any user, understand different issues that can be impacted by the elections

Executive summary

The 2020 United States Presidential Election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3. US Citizens older than 18 will be able to cast a ballot and vote for who they want as their next president. However, through all this promotion on campus to motivate people to vote, there is an underrepresented group of students, the non US citizens, who are often forgotten and deemed irrelevant to the US’ political events. 

Problem statement

Most international students and some students who are citizens don’t understand the purpose or importance of voting for the upcoming presidential elections because they are unaware of how the decisions may impact their lives, whether or not they are citizens.

Deliverable Value

Our deliverable will come in a game format, inspired by the game “Dumb Ways to Die,” which was created by Metro Trains in Australia as the Australian Public Service Announcement campaign to promote railway safety. Similar to Dumb Ways to Die, our game will include characters with their own mini game. Each character will represent an issue that matters in the US that the president has a say to change, and the game will provide information and knowledge about each issue and how it can relate to the player. The goal of this game is to 1. bring awareness of the election to international students. 2. Provide information about issues in the US that international students can personally relate to, and 3. Provide them enough knowledge to engage in conversations regarding the election with their friends who can vote and hopefully be able to motivate them to vote as well. 

Overview research

We conducted general surveys and sent it to the student body, mainly international students, to answer. The questions are listed below:

 

  1. How invested are you in the US 2020 election? - *drag bar*

  2. How would you describe your friends and their interest in politics/the upcoming election? - majority of them r into in // some r super invested, some aren’t // they’re aware of what’s happening // they’re not interested 

  3. Why do you think the election is important/unimportant to you

  4. How much do you think you know about the election? 

  5. additional comments 

results

  • Most international students understand that there is an election and the general idea of it, but is unfamiliar with the process. 

  • All International students have voter friends who are interested in the election and do talk to them about it from time to time. 

  • About 80% of international students surveyed said that the election is important but they don’t know much about it/the purpose of knowing about it.

  • A few international students know a lot about the elections and issues, but are not invested in helping or doing anything because they’re not a citizen so they don’t think they can do anything. 

  • Some international students say that it matters only because it affects the global political scene - most who say it matters say so because they believe that Trump is the reason why international students are not very welcomed in this country, along with their abilities to stay and work in the US. 

  • Majority respondents, international AND citizens, commented saying that they are more invested this year than last solely because they want Trump out of the elections. 

  • About 60% of citizen student voters say that what matters is the democratic party winning, no matter who and for what reason. 

Usability Testing

Goal

to find out whether users can gain more knowledge and awareness about the issue presented after using the app and “playing” the games. Secondary goal is to end up having them press the button “how can I help?” after a game without instructing them to do so. Similar to the Think Aloud process but done remotely via screen sharing (social distancing!)

 

Process

Explained to the users the scenario: they are an international student on campus who just downloaded the app because it was advertised next to the voting event that you were at because your US Citizen friends wanted to check out. 

Watched the users go through the prototype from onboarding to playing the first game.

Had users think aloud, changing screens based on their actions. 

The goal is to not convince them to press any buttons, but let them press whatever buttons depending on their own will. 

 

Questions and Answers

-were the users able to retain information regarding the issues presented?

-what were their feelings before and after this game? their thoughts on voting.

-what is something they learned regarding voting and issues?

-what are some issues they know that is connected to voting?

-do they feel more aware of what voting does for themselves and their country and the world? If yes, ask them to explain

Final design

Designs, illustrations, and animations © Roseanne Chao