Democracy Is A Design Problem: How Changes In Design Change The Outcome Of Elections...With Dana Chisnell

  • 23 Oct 2012
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • RAPP 437 Madison Ave 3rd floor, btw 49th & 50th, New York, NY 10022


  • For attendees of the rescheduled "Speed Dating For Your Résumé" event. Code required.

Registration is closed

Palm Beach County 2000 BallotThis is a story about how a simple change in type size on a commonly used form led to two major wars and a world wide economic crisis. Design matters.

We keep learning this lesson on ballots, on web sites, in software and devices, and in the interactions we have with customers and users. And yet, there are glimmers of hope everywhere -- successful designs where small changes made all the positive difference. Dana will discuss some of the lesser-known disasters, show some surprising successes, and share results from her research and usability testing on ballot designs and instructions to voters.

Even if your day job is seemingly far away from world-changing events, Dana will show you how you, too, can get involved and start contributing your super powers to make your world a better place.

About Dana

Dana ChisnellDana is the person federal and state election officials call on when they need to do something about ballot usability and design.

Over the last 8 years, Dana Chisnell has trained more than a thousand election officials to test the design of their ballots to avoid costly mistakes and unwarranted attention. She’s given highly rated presentations and workshops for a dozen state election departments and conferences, as well as voter advocacy groups and secretaries of state.

As a member of the Brennan Center for Justice’s ballot design task force, Dana advises on plain language, ballot design, and usability testing. She’s also one of the leaders of the Usability in Civic Life Project, which developed the LEO Usability Testing Kit, a simple training tool for local election officials. She is a consulting expert to AIGA's Design for Democracy Project.

About Our Host

http://rapp.comWe create experiences that change how people talk, act and feel about brands.

These experiences utilize traditional, digital, social and mobile media, as well as new technologies and invented media. They are the product of our creativity and 45 years of expertise in data, analytics, strategy, user experience, media and technology.

RAPP is the world's leading multichannel marketing agency network.


6:00 Light Refreshments & Networking
6:45 Announcements
7:00 Presentation and Q & A
8:00 Post-Event Networking


437 Madison Ave btw 49th & 50th
NY, NY 10022 | MAP


$10 for members, $5 for students, $20 for non-members

Deadlines, Transfers, & Policies

All registration activities are handled by our volunteers. Please be advised that on the day of the event, we'll do our best to accommodate late requests, but our primary focus will be on day-of-event logistics.

Regular registration closes the day before the event or when we reach capacity, whichever happens first.

We provide attendee lists to security staff and print name tags on around noon the day of the event, therefore refund requests can only be taken until the day before the event (send refund requests to We regretfully cannot offer refunds to people who cancel on the day of the event. You have until 11AM the day of the event to transfer your ticket to someone else by sending the name of your transferee to We will do our best to accommodate. 

Seating Capacity & Wait Lists

Seating capacity changes with every venue. If an event sells out early, a Wait List may be set up and managed by us on a discretionary basis. Getting on the Wait List does not guarantee a seat; we'll do our best to keep Wait-Listers informed about status. Priority will be given to Wait Listers who are Annual Members. 

Registration for our events is online, and we strongly discourage walk-ins. If you choose to come to the event on a walk-in basis, the Walk-In fee for this event is $25 and applies to members and non-members. We are not set up to handle cash at the door, so exact change is appreciated. Should you arrive without without exact change, we reserve the right to follow up with you after the event for payment. 

If you arrive and your name isn't on our list, you can provide your confirmation email in printed or digital form. If you don't have a registration confirmation, we'll ask you to pay the walk-in rate. If you can provide your proof of registration after the event, we'll refund the walk-in charge.


This event may be video-recorded. NYC UPA reserves the right to use any video footage and/or photography obtained during our events and networking activities on our website or any other community-sharing website, including but not restricted to Facebook, LinkedIn, Vimeo, YouTube, and Flickr in order to promote the visibility of our organization.

On rare occasions a presenter may need to cancel at the last minute. This can happen due to air travel delays, client emergencies, or other factors beyond our control. NYC UPA will make every effort to secure a backup speaker if this occurs. If a backup speaker can't be found, NYC UPA will issue a refund.

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