Sophia Spitulnik

The Voting Project

A campaign to encourage Generation Z to vote.

The voting project landing page

Background

Overview: During the Summer of 2018 I interned on the Experience Design Team at Digitas, a Digital Marketing Agency in Boston. I spearheaded an intern case study for a pro bono client with a team of interns from different disciplines. We created a pitch for a marketing campaign and educative website, called The Voting Project, to encourage members of Generation Z to vote on social issues like climate change, gun control and equality.

Scope: Over the course of this project, I coordinated a team of interns to research Gen Z voting trends and current voting experiences, define a target audience and persona, define a problem, ideate solutions, create a marketing campaign strategy, design the user experience for a product that will improve our target users’ voting experience, refine and apply an already existing brand, create a budget, propose a social media campaign, produce a short animation and pitch to a client.

Tools: Sketch, Principle, Keynote, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Google Drive, pens and paper, whiteboards

Team:

Whitney

Whitney: Data and Research

Brenna

Brenna: Project Management

Sophia

Sophia (me!): Experience Design, Campaign Strategy, and Creative Direction

Connor

Connor: Media Planning, Budgeting, and Music

Research

After receiving a brief from our client, we began by reading articles, studies and surveys on Generation Z and their voting trends. Here are a few of the insights we garnered:

77%

consider climate change, gun control and equality important issues (NPR).

70%

watch 2+ hours of youtube every day (Forbes).

96%

own smartphones (Pew Research).

“I don’t know how (to vote) and I don’t really know how to find more info”

— California College student (CALPIRG Education Fund)

Problem Statement

Generation Z is passionate about social issues but lacks information and accessible tools for decision making and voting.

Mediums: Information about Bills, Measures, Candidates is often not in accessible formats or in media that Generation Z is familiar with using, such as youtube or websites. Here are examples of websites with content about elections in Massachusetts.

Ugly and Confusing Website Ugly and Confusing Website

Geography: Generation Z often moves to new cities or states for university or jobs, and they are often not registered to vote in these new locales. Although all of Generation Z can vote on issues of climate change, gun control and equality, the local measures and candidates will be different depending on where they are registered to vote.

Strategy

Empower Gen Z with resources and information in the places they already search.

We are not interested in a marketing campaign that shouts about the importance of voting. Instead we will give our target users information and tools to make the voting process more accessible and so that they can be more informed.

Users

Generation Z: Our client asked us specifically to reach Generation Z, but as there are 67 million Americans who are considered part of generation Z and much variation in this group, we decided to focus in on reaching a specific demographic with in Generation Z.

Target Users Graph

Taylor and Taylor are both Freshman in college. They are enthusiastic to begin their new lives in college and as adults. They will be voting for the first time this Fall. Taylor and Taylor are not super politically active (they don’t regularly post about their political beliefs, organize political events or work for campaigns) but they do care about issues of climate change, equality and gun violence. They frequently use Instagram, Facebook and Youtube. The idea of mailing in a paper ballot seems very old fashioned to them.

Persona illustrations Persona illustrations

“In State Taylor” grew up in the same state that she attends college and “Out of State Taylor” grew up in a different state than were he attends college. Taylor and Taylor will both be voting on climate change, equality and gun control, but their specific bills, candidates and methods of voting will be different. It is important that we make information and tools that is relevant for people from all over the US accessible from the same place so that the resources can be used and shared amongst college students from different states.

Empathy Map

Ideation

Team brainstorming
brainstorm

After a lot of brainstorming and ideation, we decided that our campaign would have 3 main elements to best reach Taylor and Taylor.

Website, Social, Transportation

Wireframes

I made many iterations of different possible layouts for each page. One challenge that I encountered was the process for a user to select their state in mobile. I wanted this process to be engaging and visual so I decided to show a map of the United States where the user could click to select their state. However, the full map of the united states would be too small to fit on mobile. I solved this problem by first asking the user to select their region and then asking the user to select their state (see below in the website section).

FAQ

Website

The site is divided into 4 sections: “How to Vote”, “Issues and Candidates”, “Upcoming Elections” and “FAQ”. Before asking the user for any information (such as the state that they live in or their zip code), it is important to engage them and show them that the website has something to offer. Because of this, the user is first presented with a reassuring statement about the purpose of the website, then prompted to select which section of the website interests them and then, after they are engaged and see the website has value, asked to provide personal information like state or zip code.

The voting project landing page

How to Vote: This is a user flow for a user who wants more information on how to vote. The user most associates with Massachusetts, is registered to vote and is interested in learning more about voting by mail.

The voting project landing page
Register to vote Select a state Voting Options in your state vote by mail information
Issues and Candidates

Issues and Candidates: Users can see issues and candidates that are up for election in their state. They can change the state at any time.

Upcoming Elections: Users can read about upcoming elections in their state or region. Each of the measures, bills or candidates that are up for vote are listed under the election date.

Upcoming Elections
FAQ submit a new question

FAQ: Users can scroll through frequently asked questions, search for a question or submit a question that has not yet been answered.

Social Campaign

Youtube: Our campaign includes an educational youtube channe where Taylor and Taylor can learn how to vote as well as, research on different measures and candidates that are coming up for vote.

Youtube Mockup

I collaborated with my teammates Hayden, Ashley and Connor to produce one of the videos on our YouTube channel. I did the Art Direction, storyboarding, illustration and typesetting. I delegated some of the illustration work to Ashley, Hayden did all of the animation, and Connor produced the music and recorded the voice over. It was awesome to work with this team and see everyone's work come together in the final product. This is just one video in our YouTube channel, but other video ideas include “how to vote at a polling station”, “what to expect on a ballot” and “climate change bills in 2018”.

Facebook and Instagram: Our social media campaign also includes an Instagram page, Facebook page, sponsored Instagram ads, partnerships with popular influencers, blurbs in university newsletters and partnerships with college campus ambassadors (who were also a part of the previous campaign).

Social Media

Transportation

Partnerships: The Voting Project will partner with transportation companies to pay for the cost of all transportation on election day to the polls. The companies will also use their social media and other advertising channels to promote The Voting Project’s resources. This will be good for these companies corporate social responsibility.

Transportation Partnerships Transportation Partnerships

The Pitch

At the end of this project, my team had the opportunity to pitch our work to a panel of senior Digitas executives and the client.

See a PDF of our pitch deck here.

Visual Language

Colors, Type, and UI: I used a simple, bold graphic language to make the content easily digestible and to reassure the user. I used some of the brand language from the pro bono client, but I cut down on the number of illustration styles, typefaces and colors. I made these decisions to create more consistency and to better reflect the brand voice that the client wished to achieve. The content and visual language is friendly and enthusiastic, encouraging and patriotic, but not polarizing. I also created a UI style for the website.

Visual language

Budget

The client asked us to develop two media plans: one plan within a $50,000 budget and the other for an “unlimited” budget.

Budget

Conclusion

Measuring Success: Overall we estimate that our campaign has the potential to increase voting in our target audience by 2-3%. That is 35,465-53,198 more votes. We can measure the success of our campaign by measuring how many people visit our website, how long they stay, the number of interactions, the number of views on our videos, and the number of interactions with our social media content.

Reflection: This project was a great learning experience and it was awesome to work with such a motivated team. I learned about researching and understanding users, working with an existing brand and applying it to new designs, like the website UI, as well as animation production and how to communicate to a production team. I also learned a lot about other non-design aspects of marketing such as making media decisions based on data that we found in our research, budgeting and social media campaigns.