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Hanging Chads…

without comments

Voted this morning. Got to experience the joy of the punch-card system that caused so many problems (e.g. President Bush) in Florida. What a horrible system.

The basic usability test of any product should consist of taking 100 random people and asking them to use it without asking questions (or spending an inordinate amount of time reading the detailed instructions) (rather like Joel’s Hallway Usability Test). By this standard the punch-card system fails miserably.

I had to spend approximately 30 seconds puzzling over the process to make sure that I 1) Insterted the ballot the correct direction (side up and which edge in) 2) Knew what would invalidate my ballot. Now, some readers are certainly saying to themselves “what an idiot, voting with punch-cards is easy”. To you I respond; see the usability test above? From all around me I heard people asking the same questions I had. Just because it may have made sense to some (and might even have made sense to the system’s creators) doesn’t validate the system. I’m looking forward to touch-screen voting next Presidential election (even if my vote may be hijacked by crackers, or the funders of the voting system for that matter).

Written by jthurber

October 7th, 2003 at 8:11 am

Posted in mild-rantings