There’s a lot of really well designed interactive sites, and there’s also a lot of terrible ones. To break down a terribly designed site is to help define what makes a good one.
With that in mind.
I came across this interactive poll site on the Fox News website, which I think is just awful. At first you’ll probably wonder why only four states are coloured, and you’ll keep wondering that since that’s never answered. The whole point of this interactive site is about “America Talking” in regards to some political questions, yet only four states are relevant?
Stepping back. I would say that from a usability point of view this site is straightforward. The user is asked a question, they can choose an answer and then compare their answer with the rest of the country.
However there are problems with this particular process on the site:
- Why can you only look at the data from four particular states?
- How does the site know where you’re voting from? Is it using META data to allocate your vote appropriately? I’m Canadian but apparently the numbers still go up when I vote? How does that work at all?
- The map is proportionally quite small, when it could be much larger (easier to hover over the two smaller coloured states)
- There’s a “sound off” button, that doesn’t do anything unless you’re signed in? There’s no sound on the site anyways so I’m assuming this is referring to something else?
- Similarly as mentioned earlier, the site states they are against the suppression of expression and thought, yet 46 states have no say in their poll with questions affecting the entire country.
- What’s with the question topic headers? “Politics”, “Outnumbered”, “The Real Story” and “Cost of Freedom”? Why aren’t they all labelled as politics? It almost feels like there’s a narrative being pushed alongside each question?
- If a state has voted 51% for one answer and 49% for another (e.g. 51% yes, 49% no) the entire state is coloured for the leading answer – wouldn’t it make more sense to add some sort of colour shading to show how close some of these poll results are?
Maybe I’m just looking at this all the wrong way. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around rationalizing some of these design choices.