The Story

In 2016, it wasn’t just the voters of the UK who were looking to the Electoral Commission website. The 2016 EU Referendum was a pivotal moment in European history, with more eyes focussed on UK-EU politics than ever before.

The Electoral Commission prepare for this moment through a partnership with Squiz. Together, we’ve built their web presence around two websites:

  1. Electoral Commission: The source of information for everything to do with running, standing for, campaigning, or voting at elections in the UK.
  2. About My Vote’: A voter hub focused on providing the public with the information they need to take part in elections and referendums.

The Challenge

In preparation for the EU Referendum, the Electoral Commission approached Squiz about building an EU Referendum-specific microsite. They had to achieve five goals and, with that, faced two serious problems.

The goals were:

  1. Registration: Ensure voters know they need to be registered, how to register and when the deadline to register is
  2. Confidence: Ensure voters know how and when to vote
  3. Campaign information: Ensure voters have access to campaign information in order to make informed decisions
  4. Connect with a huge demographic spread: Sites needed to connect with all segments amongst eligible voters
  5. Provide an online experience: So that people could interact with the EU Referendum through social media

The Solution

Once 23 June 2016 was confirmed as the date for the referendum, we worked quickly to provide an accessible, centralised location for all referendum information.

‘About My Vote’ would direct users to a Referendum Microsite where they could select information relating to their specific requirements as a voter.

The design solution was simple: give the referendum it’s own distinctiveness, but keep it in line with the overall, recognisable Electoral Commission and ‘About My Vote’ brand.

Because the Electoral Commission were undertaking a UK-wide public awareness advertising campaign using neon creative to catch the attention of

voters, we were able to use these creative assets.

Their advertising was directing people to 'About My Vote', so our job was to create a microsite that would be recognisable to voters, utilising the same neon creative, as well as providing them with all the information they needed to vote with confidence in the EU Referendum.

The Results

Squiz’s Edge Network was put to the test on 5 May 2016 when the referendum was held across the UK.

The microsite, built on Squiz’s Matrix CMS system, was the home for all the information necessary to populate the site. The site prominently displayed the information needed by voters to ensure that everyone could have their voice heard in this historic poll.

The Electoral Commission partnered with Facebook to offer the ‘I’m a Voter’ button, which allowed users to share that they had voted on their timelines.

The button linked directly to the ‘About My Vote’ website and, as a result, the website saw a spike in traffic of over one million sessions in just one day.

This massive increase in traffic did not affect user’s experience on ‘About My Vote’, due to Squiz Edge technology, and proved a valuable testing ground ahead of the upcoming EU Referendum when we knew interest and traffic would be even higher.

Over one million sessions in one day

The project was well received by all stakeholders and social media alike. But, more crucially, voters found the content easily accessible, and simple to understand, all while the site was under the pressure of the most significant democratic exercises in living memory.

The Technology

Matrix is a web technology platform that's made to help you kick your business goals. With out-of-the-box personalisation capability, real-time segmentation and super-easy content editing, Matrix will empower you to get back to doing what you do best.

The Services

Squiz's services ensure that your technology can sing. During this project, we helped by coupling our Design and UX services, with the Squiz Matrix Platform, to Build the final microsite that delivered for both the Electoral Commission and the site's users.

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