Human factors/ergonomics researchers have evaluated the potential benefits of using smartphones to enable online voting in future U.S. elections and will present their findings at the upcoming HFES 55th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 2000 presidential election debacle in Florida became a national embarrassment, prompting many U.S. election officials to opt for more technologically advanced voter systems. Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002, which aimed, in part, to increase usability and promote accurate election results through the creation and distribution of electronic voting systems. Little research was completed to determine the efficiency of the new systems, however, which has caused additional usability issues. This gap has led some to speculate that mobile voting may prove to be the wave of the future for voters.
In their upcoming Annual Meeting presentation, “Voting on a Smartphone: Evaluating the Usability of an Optimized Voting System for Handheld Mobile Devices,” Bryan Campbell, Chad Tossell, Michael Byrne, and Philip Kortum asked more than 50 men and women ranging in age from 18 to 68, with and without smartphone experience, to vote on two types of systems: a custom-built mobile Web application, and either a traditional electronic voting system or a paper ballot. The researchers found that participants who own and use smartphones completed the voting task more accurately than did those without smartphone experience, indicating the need to design mobile voting systems—including content for such systems—to accommodate inexperienced voters’ mental model to increase usability, effectiveness, and accuracy.
The authors note some potential benefits of implementing smartphone technology for voters: “Mobile voting carries the potential to increase voter participation, reduce election administration costs, and allow voters to interact with familiar technology. In the near term, remote voting should not be considered a viable option for elections. Over the long term, however, with the support of the human factors/ergonomics and computer science communities, mobile voting can be a viable—and desirable—means of conducting elections.”
Congress has given preliminary approval for remote electronic voting to replace slow and unreliable postal ballots for U.S. soldiers stationed overseas. “As a result,” say the authors, “some form of Internet voting seems inevitable, and it follows then that smartphones and other Internet-capable mobile technologies will likely play a key role.”
For more information on this and other research being presented at the HFES Annual Meeting, contact HFES Communications Director Lois Smith (email@example.com, 310/384-1811).
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world's largest nonprofit individual-member, multidisciplinary scientific association for human factors/ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,600 members globally. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. Watch science news stories about other HF/E topics at the HFES Web site. “Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering”
Plan to attend the HFES 55th Annual Meeting, September 19-23: http://www.hfes.org/web/HFESMeetings/2011annualmeeting.html
Lois Smith | EurekAlert!
Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified
05.12.2016 | University of Sussex
UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering