AusPoll connects and informs Australian citizens about the events inside and surrounding Federal, State, and Local government. The service allows users to review, share, and comment on upcoming bills, discussions, and political events.

Democracy is a process, not a static condition. It is becoming, rather than being. It can be easily lost, but is never finally won.

 William H. Hastie 1904-1976

Concept and purpose

The Concept

AusPoll is a mobile app and system to help connect Australian citizens and voters with their federal and state representatives, their government bodies and the working of all levels of government. AusPoll also acts as a way to accurately measure the performance of individual representatives, parties and government bodies as well as the support of Australian citizens.

The Purpose

This concept is a personal project aimed at helping to solve many of the ongoing arguments and problems with how people connect with their democracy and understand the real facts of its operation and its people. Whilst The Australian democracy isn’t as problematic as other nation’s, I believe this is a way we can enhance the way citizens can connect with their representatives and provide their input to the way the government works and how their representatives vote.

The problem

Increased false information

With the rise of social media and the internet, false information has played a huge part in how elections are decided and how government bodies and representatives operate.

Failure of polls

Polls have found it increasingly difficult to predict the outcomes of elections and major democratic events. This is due to the nature of how these polls are made and their way of gathering results.

Access to activity

The votes of government on bills & legislation as well as the conversation, concerns and controversy around those votes are generally hard to or completely inaccessible to citizens.

Access to representatives

Currently representatives rely on social media or traditional contact methods of email, phone and regular mail to provide updates to citizens and allow citizens to connect with them.

The feed

The feed is the landing page of the app, allowing users to view posts and updates from representatives and politicians they follow, their local representative, government bodies and topics of interest. The feed has a priority algorithm presenting posts and authors to the user with the highest priority first.

Get updates from your representatives

Read posts from your local representatives and any other politicians you choose to follow. Keep up to date on their activities, how they vote and what issues they favour.

Follow government and political organisations

Get updates from political parties, political research organisations, government department and ministries. Follow along on their operations and connect with their day to day tasks.

Get curated daily, weekly and monthly updates

Receive personalised updates on the events and discussions taking place in the Australian federal and state political spheres relevant to you.

Subscribe to updates on topics of debate

Get non-biased and well curated updates on certain topics and areas of debate in federal and state governments. Topics include global warming, business, economy, LGBT and social issues.

The Algorithm

Posts are assigned an order in the user's feed list based off a point and auction system. Each post has a point value which is tallied up from a number of factors and then compete in an auction to appear in a determined order on the feed.


Your local representatives are assigned more points, followed by other parties, organisations and politicians. Points are also assigned by their controversy level, comments, fact checked status and publish time.

Posts and commenting

To ensure the clarity of information being shared and the reduction of clutter on a user's feed, only verified users may post; politicians, organisations, agencies and governmental bodies will appear. All other users can interact on a post by commenting and up or down voting.


Posts by verified users may be subject to fact checking and removal if they breach the level of clarity of information and fact providing required for the platform. This is to ensure that the platform remains a place where a high quality of information is available for all users.

Fact checking

All posts by verified users are subject to fact checking. Controversial, popular and questionable posts will be fact checked by our independent, non-biased researchers and reporters.


Fact checking written into our code of conduct and terms and conditions is essential to ensuring the high quality of content on our platform and to ensure that our users have trust of the content they read on our platform.

Bills & legislation

The Bills & legislation screen provides users with a feed of upcoming and past proposals before House of Representatives and the Senate. Users can interact with each card and view it’s status, controversy level and details. For more important bills, users can see a report in user friendly terms going through the for and against arguments as well as statements by key politicians in the discussion.

AusPoll Review

AusPoll Review provides users with a report on important or controversial pieces of bills and legislation in layman’s terms. The aim is to help break down the barrier between citizens and their understanding of the activities of government.


Heartbeat shows how citizens respond to the piece of legislation. The data is gathered in app by asking users a series of questions on the topic of the bill and legislation to understand the positive or negative feelings of it.


Bills and legislation are measured by the controversy attached to them, both inside government by politicians and outside by the public. Higher controversy pieces will be provided additional resources to ensure clarity and understanding.


The Heartbeat is a way of measuring the positive or negative attitudes and responses of citizens towards the government, its operations and activities. The Heartbeat is a more informative way of responding to the need, successes and failures of polls today. The Heartbeat is determined by a series of indirect and direct questions presented to users in-app.

Push notifications

Whilst most users will only receive polls whilst using the app, some inactive users or those users who have opted in to be polled directly will receive push notification reminders to answer poll questions

Question interrupt

Users will see this screen infrequently, but will become used to either seeing a request on their feed to complete a poll or be intentionally interrupted whilst browsing the app.

Thank you screen

To ensure continued support and interaction with polls throughout the app, we want to be transparent with how the data is used and what the outcome is for citizens and for the government.


Being able to follow, see the posts of and interact with politicians, government organisations and research groups is integral to the experience of AusPoll. It allows users to follow trustworthy news sources, see what their local representatives are up to and interact with them on a more human level.


Heartbeat shows how citizens respond to the representative, their approach to the position they hold and how they help share the communities perspective on topics with the wider government.


Representatives, organisations and research agencies are all verified users, they are able to publish posts updating their followers on their activities in their role. 

Vote history

Vote history allows users to see how their representative voted on a number of bills, legislation and overall issues. The history also helps to display how likely they are to vote with or against their own party on topics they feel strongly about.

A concept in progress

AusPoll is a concept in progress and I will be regularly updating this and changing the design as I evolve my thinking, my research and the prospective features. I’m also planning to blog about my process and my progress on this concept.