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Solving A Problem In The Community

How we managed to identify a problem and build a solution used more than 400k times in a week.

by Tomas Piaggio

Build Something Simple

This was our main goal when we decided to create a solution for a problem we identified which was affecting our community. Presidential elections were held on the 30th June here in Uruguay, and in order to vote, people have to find out where do they need to go and vote. They can find out using their 'Credencial', which is a type of ID number provided for each individual by the government.

The problem arises when the person doesn't remember their 'Credencial' and thus, cannot find out where do they have to go in order to vote, and this is fairly common. Why? Because the 'Credencial' is a document you only use once every 4 years, and who has time to remember that?

We decided to build a solution to this problem. The government has the data of the people that can vote, but it doesn't provide a service that lets people know where do they vote providing their name and surname. So we built it.

The Solution

After identifying the problem, we started thinking how could we build a solution for it. We needed access to government data, which is always difficult, and then search through that data with parameters and provide results. The solution had to be simple but effective, and we had to built it in no more than a week, so we started asking ourselves if it was possible.

We found out that the data of the people who can vote, and where do they vote, is public. The public organism in charge of providing this data, called the 'Corte Electoral', gives away that information in order to provide transparency and guarantee for the elections. After we were able to query that data from a DataBase, we started with the first prototypes. In a week we came up with a simple but effective solution. We built the web app using ReactJS on the frontend and AWS for the infrastructure. You can visit it at https://e2019.uy.

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The web application used on a mobile phone, showing the information and the location.

When the users provide their names and surnames, they can see all their information including their 'Credencial' number as well as the location of the place they have to go and vote.

There were quite a few challenges here, because it was not only a matter of Look & Feel (users from 18 years old to almost 90 years old were going to use the site), but also an architecture challenge. If successful, this web could be used by thousands of users, and we needed to plan an architecture that could handle a huge amount of requests.

Results

The number of users exceeded expectations. We managed to help more than 180k individuals who didn't know where do they needed to go in order to vote. The web app was used more than 400k times and there was over a million page views.

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Google analytics on the last week before the elections.

We didn't monetize the project with ads, so the user experience was clean and beautiful. We received tons of great feedback.

This project made CreateThrive really popular, not only because of the amount of leads we generated, but because this project was broadcasted on the TV, radio and digital newspapers.

Now what?

The presidential elections held on the 30th June were the first round of elections. There's going to be a second one in October and probably a third one in November, so we expect to help more people really soon! In the meantime, we added the results of these elections in pretty graphs on a new section of the site.

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The credits for these beautiful charts go to react-chartjs-2

Rounding up, this was a really fun project to work with and lots of experience was gained in the process.

We hope you liked our blog post and we're happy to have kicked off our blog section with such an interesting article! If you're interested in knowing more, or if you'd like to work with us, please say hello.