the Indiana House and Senate use the Indiana Voting System to vote on legislation during legislative session, and the information it captures is recorded to a central datastore, facilitating near-realtime workflow management, document generation, web publishing and reporting.
How it Works
At a general level, the system transitions through four states, presenting context-sensitive web views—synchronously via server in realtime at each state transition—to a large number of unique devices, including multiple control interfaces, big display screens and a touchscreen tablet at each legislator's desk. Because the Indiana General Assembly is composed of 100 Representatives and 50 Senators—bringing Indiana's Voting System to life would prove to be no small task.
The Reader Interface displays, opens and closes votes.
The Chair Interface keeps leadership updated.
The chamber displays show the action in realtime.
Vote tablets accept member votes and display results.
State transitions are controlled from the Reader Interface—named for the role of the young interns tasked with operating it during legislative session. Designing the Reader Interface posed a unique challenge for two reasons.
First, the Reader must multitask, interacting with the interface while speed-reading legislative documents into a microphone and listening for verbal cues that might require action. This happens in front of a large audience, adding stage anxiety to cognitive load.
Second, legislative session in Indiana is fast-paced, increasing the likelihood of incorrect inputs.
For these reasons, the Reader Interface is composed of large single-purpose buttons that are only displayed at appropriate system states. Interaction points that trigger system state transitions, such as displaying an item and opening or closing a vote, are placed in different screen regions to minimize the likelihood of accidental input.
Additionally, the design incorporates bold typography, simple iconography and communicative animation to make interactions feel natural and responsive.
More to the Story
There is a lot more to tell about this project. In an effort spanning the last 5 years, the system has now been through several major hardware and software upgrades, along with innumerable improvements along the way. It's a story too big for this medium, in fact.
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