The Issue Engine

September 2012

The Issue Engine was created as a tool to dig into the issues during campaign 2012. Since launching we have leveraged the technology behind it for several projects.

My contribution: Overall UX, design strategy and visual design

The Issue Engine is a tool created for the 2012 presidential campaign to guide our readers in understanding candidates positions on key issues and who best represented their views.

The Post had official positions from each campaign and a huge database of speeches and transcripts from both candidates to support their positions. We could have made issue pages to highlight everything paired with our reporting, but we have a very strong community of users and we wanted to engage with them in a more active way.

This product evolved from a fairly static experience to an app we integrated with Facebook to create an ‘Endorse’ action (similar to ‘like’) so our readers could share their stance on each key issue with all their friends.

Here are some of the initial wireframes:

In the wireframe process, I knew the interface could get overly complicated with all the interactions we had planned. I did several rounds of designs to make sure the UI was simplified and straightforward. We also had a late addition from advertising to include a huge display ad so I had to reconfigure most of the experience. Here’s where we ended up with the design:

More about the project: Introducing the Issue Engine

Hat tip to Jeremy Bowers, Amanda Zamora, Leslie Passante and Ryan Kellett for making this happen!