What’s the purpose of a literature review on a design project? Kathryn Summers, Drew Davies, and I wanted to look around our own domain and domains of others to see what we might learn that would make what became the Anywhere Ballot great. Who has worked on something similar? What lessons can we incorporate?
And so, we — with the copious help of UBalt students Megan McKeever and Noel Alton — have assembled an annotated bibliography. Interestingly, maybe because what we’re doing with the Anywhere Ballot is so new, we didn’t find a lot that intersected the things we’re putting together. There are separate, parallel stories that are interesting and informative, but not specific to this project.
But gathering these sources was useful for bringing the team up to speed on the specialties of the others. For example, though I’ve been working in plain language for a long time, I don’t have the depth of knowledge that Kathryn has in low literacy and cognitive disabilities. Drew, as a designer, doesn’t spend as much time with words as Kathryn and I do — so those seminal sources in our bibliography were very useful to him. Likewise, Drew and I have deep experience in design and language in voting and elections, but Kathryn and her students only knew the domain from their experiences as voters. So the background helped them catch up. The sources on mobile helped us be careful and thorough with our project, but there just isn’t a lot of published research out there related to what we’ve done.
We are pretty sure the Anywhere Ballot is good. Some of that goodness comes from the work of those many others who helped us learn before we started assembling pixels.
You can download Anywhere Ballot bibliography for yourself.