The designer and developer of vota-online.it and is software core (VOA) is Vittorio Romolini, whose personal website is www.vittoromo.it .
This poject began in 2009 , with the encouragement of Agorà Digitale, an association that was being bult at that time with the aim of protecting and promoting digital freedom. Agorà Digitale highlighted some of the functional requirements that VOA should have satisfied.
The first version was completely developed in september 2009, and immediately used during the 7th Congress of the Associazione Luca Coscioni, where about 300 people participated and 144 unique people voted in 25 polls/elections.
There can exist many statutory peculiarities in associations. Nonetheless, VOA has always pursued the goal of being highly configurable in order to fit the several different voting contexts that take place in the real world. Design and development of the new VOA 2 was driven by a deep study of the actual needings by the past and new potential users. Surveys also were made with previous users to analyze their user experience and to collect useful insights about desired features.
Four kind of stakeholders were interviewed:
- association executives and delegates, interested in this software lever to reach new members;
- "congress secretariat" members, that suggested precise advices about correct implementation of congress regulations;
- IT people responsible of the technical aspects supporting the political process;
- common people that participate to the congresses (not just votng only) and wants to have the tools to exercise their rights.
The development of version 2 was completed in April 2012. In May 2012 the user interface was integrated. Some minor modifications and improvements have been later implemented too.
Since then, a great effort has been particularly spent on improving the user interface, an more generally the user experience, both for the final "voting user" and those who call congresses, simplifying many aspect so that to minimize the technical background needed to start a congress here on vota-online.it