How User Interfaces and Usability Shape the World We Live In

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Does anyone here remember the “pregnant chad”? Circa 2000 U.S. elections in the State of Florida.

Yes, human-user interfaces do affect the world more than we recognize. The usability of the election interface was a problem then that is still shaping our world. For many people the world has changed drastically.

Today we are faced with user interface concerns – just with a different, more “pixelated” flavor this time.

“We’re facing a huge problem as a nation. We’ve made the entire election system overly complex and technologically vulnerable, and lowered public confidence in the legitimacy of the results.”

“New equipment procedures and ID requirements raise the chances of trouble Nov. 7. After problems in primaries, there wasn’t much time to find solutions.”

– Candice Hoke, director of the Center for Election Integrity at Cleveland State University. From: “Election cliff-hanger: Will it all work?” – USA Today, p.15-A (Oct, 27, 2006).

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