From a field of over 20 candidates, only 9 have reached the polling and donation requirements to take the stage at the third Democratic debate scheduled for September as of the writing of this article. TryMyUI shares their thoughts on the 2020 Democratic Primary.
In order to be eligible for the next primary debate, candidates must poll at a minimum of 2% in four qualifying polls and have the support of at least 130,000 unique donors.
This clearly means that candidates need to get their message out in a way that mobilizes people and, much like a crowdfunding campaign, attracts a large swathe of donors as opposed to a few donors that pay large sums.
The top 5 Democratic candidates (Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders, and Warren), both in funding and polling, were the recent subjects of a ground-breaking study by usability testing and UX research company TryMyUI Inc. Designed to measure how well-designed and usable the candidate websites are, also uncovered the unique and crucial role that websites are playing in securing candidate positions in the 2020 contest.
“We wanted to know who was most successful in the digital space,” said Ritvij Gautam, co-founder of TryMyUI, “and so we developed a test aimed at discovering not only who had the best website, but also what made that website so successful and the real-world implications of that success.”
The study, which was conducted in July with remote Canadian testers being asked to complete tasks on candidate websites such as joining mailing lists, locating stances of certain subjects, and donating to the campaign, were given the following.
“We chose Canadian testers to help minimize the bias we found with preliminary American testers,” Gautam explains, “and also because they would be generally familiar with how the American political system works.”
With virtual campaigning still being in its relative youth compared to more traditional means, Gautam believes that this study confirms the emergence of a new battleground in the race for the 2020 nomination: the digital.
The subconscious level Gautam is talking about is how the design of the site itself speaks to visitors, visually as well as written. Whereas testers responded well to Warren’s large collection of personal videos.
Similar sentiments were made about Mayor Buttigieg’s website, but to an arguable fault. Although many testers complimented the overall design, they also felt it was a bit ‘collegiate’ and didn’t immediately make clear that he was a presidential hopeful, unlike with the other four candidate sites.
“If nothing else,” Gautam says, “our study found a correlation between ease-of-use and generating funding, as well as gaining polling support via candidate portrayal. It’s easier than ever to access the internet from anywhere and at any time, so the candidates who are taking advantage of that with exceptional websites are the ones who will be on that debate stage in September.”