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Participie v0.8

A few exciting things happened during the past couple of weeks. Firstly, we gave the whole website a facelift, which has made it look more polished. Our static pages now use the new template instead of being part of the WordPress-backed blog.

Secondly, we rearranged the navigation so that there’s now a bakery where all pies can be accessed. This ought to make it easier for users to find things if we add more pies in the future. We’ve also set up a second pie that is also related to the Presidential debates and ought to elicit some interesting results.

Thirdly, a short video gives new users a painless overview of how to use the website and the interactive visualization. A first round of user testing (read, one of my friends) revealed that the video is indeed a helpful addition.

Other than that, we’ll be adding a single pie that consolidates all the user inputs to for each pie category sometime in the next couple of days and then perhaps add thumb up/thumb down-type community options a little later in the week.

Your federal budget 'receipt'

Two great additions have been made to the website:

  1. You can now view all submitted pies on the ‘Wall of Pies’ page. We’ll be implementing infinite scrolling and the filter option soon.
  2. A receipt on the ‘Shape your pie’ page gives you a rundown of how much each budget function would cost you, as well as the total per-capita budget spending, using 2012 population data from the US Census Bureau

Next thing on the list is jazzing up the website and implementing a few minor features that ought to enhance the user experience. After that, we plan to go through a trial round and use the feedback from that to make any necessary changes in time for the public release!

Two main changes today.  The first is a page that appears overlayed on top of the main page when you visit for the first time.  It’s meant to give you an overview of the website, what we hope to do with it and how to use it.  The second is a set of enhancements made to the ‘Shape your pie’ page that makes it look and work better.  Budget functions are now rank-ordered in the left pane, a bar shows their proportion and dynamically adjusts it every time the pie changes and mini-icons provide more meaning to the colors for each of the functions.