For those who think design doesn't matter, let this be your Morality Tale.
In Palm Beach County, Florida, in November 2000, voters found themselves confused by the design of the Presidential candidate ballot paper. People wishing to cast a vote for Al Gore found that his name was second on the list of candidates, and yet the hole that needed to be punched to vote for him was the third hole down. Pat Buchanan, or the guy on the second hole, received an abnormally large amount of votes in the Palm Beach County area – way above the national average (0.8% over 0.2%) – and much more than was predicted for the constituency. This split the vote for Al Gore, leaving George W. Bush with the slimmest of victories in this County, which in turn meant the State of Florida. In that entire Presidential election, Florida cast the deciding vote, and George W. Bush became the 43rd President of the United States.
You will have your own opinion on George W. Bush, and I would not wish to disavow you of that. Suffice it to say that bad design played a big part in his getting to office.
The design of things as seemingly simple as a voting form, play a crucial role in our everyday life and need to be thought about deeply. In this case, bad design decided who went to office and had their finger on the button. Let's be more careful next time shall we?