A collaboration that you are against

To stimulate the popularity of local politics, a number of organizations created the election for Best Councilor in the Netherlands. Campaign agency BKB came to us with an assignment to build in this interactive platform. With the election of the best councilor in the Netherlands, campaign agency BKB, the Perikles Institute, de Volkskrant, Nieuws BV and even talk show M are drawing attention to the importance of local politics. This gives council members a platform to demonstrate the importance of local politics to a broader audience. Due to the complexity of this stage, we built it in Laravel.

The solution for a complex platform; Laravel

The platform we built is multi-faceted. The entire election consists of several rounds, which require different modules and tools. So we started building the nomination tool in Laravel. All users can nominate a local councilor on their own initiative. Places and political parties are conveniently built in via a dropdown. To avoid incorrectly nominating councilors with the same name from different locations, the user selects the corresponding party + location. This way, no council member is nominated twice and mistakes are prevented. The user adds a photo of the councilor who verifies an editorial. 

Nomination tool

In the nomination module we opted for bright, striking colors and buttons that make navigation quick and easy.

Being able to easily nominate is crucial for the user, so that both young and old can participate in decisions about local politics. Accessibility was a priority in the design.

The second tool we built for the platform was the voting tool, which was also built in Laravel. It has been decided to display all nominees on the homepage, with the most recently added nominations at the top. This allows the user to filter by municipality and party to find their favorite councilor. You can vote directly from the homepage or from the profile page of the councilor in question. 

The technical challenge in this project mainly lies in the expected peak traffic and the dynamic nature of the platform. The data (nominations, candidates, votes) of the website is updated at a rapid pace. In combination with the amount of visitors, this means that it is very important that the right platform is chosen. A static site is almost not an option in this case due to the frequency of data updates, and a CMS like WordPress brings with it a large amount of extra functionality for this specific project that is not relevant here, and therefore only creates more overhead.

Why Laravel?

We decided to use the PHP framework Laravel, due to the limitations of WordPress. In combination with the Nova admin dashboard, Laravel gives us the opportunity to quickly build an application that we can fine-tune in terms of features, performance and security. In addition, it helps us structure the code so that the end product can easily be expanded in the future to hold other elections.

A design for everyone

Because the site requires 2 different processes from the user, the design must be clear. This way, the user immediately knows whether he or she is in the area to nominate or vote. To avoid confusion, clear buttons with large text have been used. The contrasts of the colors have also been taken into account. Typically according to the WCAG guidelines, which stand for an accessible design. A principle that we also adhere to have the necessary experience. 

“Developing a voting website in a very short time that is both user-friendly and safe, Van Ons can and does do it.”

What does the customer think?

Developing a voting website in a very short time that is both user-friendly and safe, Van Ons can and does do it. The communication with Van Ons was very nice. They respond quickly, come up with their own ideas and ask the right questions.

Bram Festen

Partner at BKB

Best councilor in the Netherlands

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