Being Online Is Still Not Enough
Reviews and Recommendations for State Election Websites
Best Practices: Home Page
As the entry point for information, the home page of state election websites is key to ensuring usability. The following recommendations are based on expert assessments and practices already in place in some states.
- Use the most prominent space on the home page to show users how the website is structured to meet their needs, not for long introductions or bureaucratic explanations.
- Place prominently the links that might be of most interest to voters, rather than candidates or researchers. Grouping information by audience helps users find the content they are seeking.
For example, the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics’ website provided three informational categories across the top: Voter, Election, and Candidate.
- Place links to voter-oriented information high up on the home page where users will see it.
For example, Montana’s election site addressed the most common questions in the top center of the home page.
- Ensure that the home page is easy to scan, and light on prose-style content. Make links easily identifiable. Content should be concise and presented in a brief format.
For example, the Iowa home page was not crowded with competing graphics and used clearly worded text links to make it easy to find information.