Posted on Fri 03 Feb 2012 at 15:14 by Dan Connolly
I'm sure some of you are already neck-deep in officer elections (and those that aren't soon will be!). This is just a quick post to highlight a handy widget you can use during the voting period to help push your elections without annoying those members who have already voted.
The voter popup widget lets you display one of four messages depending on the voting status of the current user. The initial assumption is that this person is eligible to take part in the election and assuming they are they can be in one of four states:
Not yet voted
Voted for some but not all positions
Voted for all positions
Polling has closed (so they can no longer vote)
So you can have a different message for each state, for example:
Don't forget to vote in our elections
Don't forget to finish voting
Thank you for voting
Don't miss the results party on Friday
Or you can choose to omit some messages and purely target the non-voters.
Where it gets smart is that you don't have to just display a text message on a page, you can use this in conjunction with some script to activate a popup notification to those who haven't voted, you could use CSS to have a different ad banner image to display in each state, you could even combine it with the person's name using a technique covered in a previous post for a bespoke message.
You can treat the four states as four possible values for a variable to be used in a script and really personalise a user's experience. If you have a splash page or redirect set up then in some way regular users of your site who vote early are punished but by making use of the voter popup widget you can ensure that voters don't have their browsing interrupted.
You could even get smart and sync it up with a countdown timer to display the countdown until voting closes OR result announcements based on whether the user has voted or not.
So although it's called the popup widget you are by no means tied into using it as a popup, you can use far less obtrusive methods to herd non-voters to your elections pages and make sure you give your voters a special thank you.
If you'd like any help setting up the Voter Popup Widget please email helpdesk.