Who’s Your Candidate?

a voice skill to help you find your 2020 democratic presidential candidate

The summer before the 2020 presidential elections, two dozen candidates were part of the democratic primary process. What’s an informed voter to do?

We decided to create “Who’s your Candidate?” an Alexa application that helped you narrow down the field to quickly get a sense of which candidates were aligned with your issues.

The overwhelming amount of information was a key driver for this design. Debates, websites, news articles, scandal, there was a constant barrage of information. Through speaking with people, we found that what we needed was simply a starting point.

We brainstormed a wide variety of ideas on ways we could present candidates. As it turned out, basic research on how candidates presented themselves gave us a method: their top three issues. And to narrow it down, a cross-reference matrix turned out to work perfectly.

In developing the Voice User Interface, we knew we wanted people to be able to interact in their own words—not to be prescribed a list of two to three issues, and a sub-menu for additional options. Knowing our matrix categories, I started polling everyone I could find for precisely how they described the issues they cared about and designed a resilient open-ended prompt that would accept basically anything the user offered, attempt to match it, and provide best-fit results.

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