How candidates can reach more voters through UX research

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

The 2020 election has been on the top of every American’s mind. We receive reminders across various platforms to go out and vote, stressing the importance of not only making our votes count for the presidential election but also our local elections.

While researching the candidates on my ballot prior to voting early, I found that I could not find information on some of the candidates. Those candidates did not have websites and were not mentioned in the news recently. I could not find information about their stance on current issues, their past achievements, and their plans for my community if they were to be elected. For the candidates that did have websites, more than half of them were for incumbent candidates, and most did not share the candidates’ views on certain issues; they only mentioned events that the candidate has been to and things that they have done recently.

The lack of information on these candidates beyond their political party really frustrated me. Not every person in the same political party is the same; just because they’re a Democrat, it doesn’t mean that they have the most liberal views, and just because they’re a Republican, it doesn’t mean that they have the most conservative views.

It was also frustrating to see that I could not learn more about the candidates I would vote for because that would mean other people would run into the same issue.

With COVID-19 and Millennials and Gen Z making up about one-third of eligible voters this election, I expected candidates to reach out to voters through the Internet, just as brands have adapted to reaching their customers during these times. I expected to see more ads on social media, sleek and modern websites for candidates, and emails from incumbent candidates. I also expected more mail from candidates telling me why I should vote for them, rather than telling me why I should not vote for their fellow candidates.

Although it may be a little late for them this election, I would encourage those running for office to build a simple and clean website where they can share their story and platform, especially as more of Gen Z becomes eligible to vote. By doing so, these candidates will be able to attract more voters, and more people to vote in general, as Millennials and Gen Z care more about what brands, and people they support, stand for. The candidates’ websites should focus on them and not other people; rather than telling us why another candidate is not as fit for this position, they should convince us that they are the best fit.

This shows that they are taking the time to understand their voters and meeting them where they are, rather than sticking to what they have seen work in the past.

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