WHY IT MATTERS:
Building a user experience that values the user.
In his classic book, “How To Win Friends And Influence People,” Dale Carnegie devotes all of chapter three to explain how impactful it can be to remember and use people’s names.
Political campaigns should endeavor to cultivate a sense of belonging. Even small gestures like using a person’s name can make them feel valued. It’s common practice to personalize email and SMS content, and the website should be no different.
Building a user experience that encourages a specific outcome.
Of course, our ultimate objective is to guide users toward certain actions. Being able to dynamically populate form input fields increases usability, which is one of the four principles of user experience design.* Anywhere it’s possible, we should be removing conversion obstructions (e.g. unnecessary load time, clicks, keystrokes, etc.). If we’re trying to get users to take some action, we should make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
Here’s one example of optimized usability— the “Thanks” page redirect (after a donation is made). After a personalized thank-you message, we give the user the option to activate their account, if they’re not already logged in to the website (read more about user accounts). We even fill in a suggested username, concatenating the user’s first and last name.
There’s also a section on that page offering yard signs. The user’s data is also passed into this form, auto-populating hidden input fields. This means that they can request a yard sign with one click after making a donation. That yard sign request gets sent separately as a new entry, triggering different automated emails and workflows.
Side UX note— you can’t ask the user a question like, “Do you live in District 18?” without showing them exactly where the district’s boundaries are. That’s why it’s so important to include that custom map. Without the map, that question might cause confusion and frustration, and that would negatively impact the conversion rate.