Skip to Content

Election 2000

A Case Study in Human Factors and Design


Author(s)

Ann Bisantz
Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering
University at Buffalo
bisantz@buffalo.edu

Abstract

The controversies surrounding the November 2000 presidential election, specifically the difficulties encountered in interpreting imperfectly punched ballots, provide the backdrop for this case. Developed for an upper-level undergraduate course in human factors/ergonomics, the goal of the case is to help students recognize how engineering solutions can be brought to bear to solve problems of national importance. The case would also be appropriate for use in an upper-level undergraduate course in human-computer interaction or user centered design.


Objectives

  • To have students apply knowledge in user centered design to a real life design problem.
  • To reinforce concepts of mappings, conceptual models, feedback, and gulfs of execution and evaluation through their consideration in a real life system.
  • To allow students to incorporate individual characteristics of user populations in the design of multiple characteristics of a system (including computer input and output mechanisms, physical system design, software interaction styles) and to learn about potential interactions among these characteristics.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to develop a user centered testing process.

Keywords

Presidential election 2000; ballot; interface design; human computer interaction; ergonomics; gulf of evaluation; gulf of execution; voting machine design; hanging chad;

Topical Areas

Policy issues

Educational Level

Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Dilemma/Decision, Discussion, Problem-Based Learning

Language

English

Subject Headings

Industrial Engineering  |   Computer Engineering  |  


Date Posted

8/5/2003

Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Supplemental Materials

The following video clip (2.3 MB, mpeg, used with permission of General Registrar, Chesterfield County, Virginia) is referenced in the case and shows the process of voting with a punchcard system.

  
  election.mpeg

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Comments