Policy Policy 2020

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Racheal Reeves
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Racheal Reeves
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Rox Flame (Development), Mel Mepham (Development), Ollie Neas (Content), Asher Emanuel (Content), Chris McIntyre (Content)
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Andi Parker (Design), Ezra Whittaker (Illustration)

Over 500,000 New Zealanders used Policy to inform their vote in 2020.

Policy empowers voters to make informed choices by providing accessible and engaging access to information. Policy summarises more than 2,000 policies and profiles every candidate and their parties: the most detailed election guide in the world. Policy’s brand aesthetic reinforces credibility through subtle references: the orange of Electoral Commission's branding, and typography regularly used in government websites.

The Electoral Commission identifies “not knowing who to vote for” as the main reason non-voters don’t vote. Many voters find existing sources of election policy information difficult to navigate, irrelevant to their lives, or presented in dense, complex ways. We use bright, bold illustrations of everyday New Zealand life for each policy area, to provide visual explanations of policy topics and help users relate to and understand the relevance of politics to their lives.

Policy transitions the user through three user mindsets:

Unsure (low confidence)
Policy’s content structure is a card artifact system which allows layering of cards and containment of cards to create tangible spaces for policy topics and sub-topics. Each card contains a simple, standardised summary of a policy. The user intuitively navigates through these cards without having to make knowledge-based decisions, a known barrier in politics.

We saw people using mobile devices to explore, and returning from desktops to dive in deeper. This pattern shows users controlling the breadth and depth of information they explore in different situations. We achieved a 10 minute average session time with 20 percent of users returning to the site at least once, increasing retention to 12 minutes upon return.

Questioning (unsure but ready to experiment and learn more)
Research conducted at the 2014 general election shows New Zealanders who voted were more likely than non-voters to have participated in a political activity. To provide greater interactivity, we allow users to click on policy cards to learn more detail, and created a ‘Blinkers’ mode which hides party names so users can browse policies without bias. Blinkers are often used by first-time or swing voters.

Informed (understands how policies relate to them and their vote)
Policy uses a familiar cognitive decision making process, a shopping cart user journey, to reduce the complexity of decision-making, minimise the user experience barriers, and help users own their experience.

Users can ‘like’ policies by clicking a heart icon, which saves the policy into a shopping cart, allowing the user to continue browsing without having to consider any policy in detail. Each decision point is collated and displayed as a graph and breakdown list on the ‘My Policies’ page, to help users see which parties proposed their favourite policies, in each topic area. This helps voters easily and transparently match their preferences to parties.

Policy aims to educate and give confidence to New Zealanders about their voting decisions, and is an indispensable part of New Zealand’s election landscape, empowering first-time and experienced voters alike. We continue to iterate and improve Policy based on feedback.