We got the idea for this project when the nation became so divided over our current political leader. Due to his high use rates for social media, we believed that this platform would provide a simple and effective way for vocal citizens to voice their opinions directly to their current politicians.
This interface works by utilizing 3 main user types: normal people, filterers, and politicians. Politicians can have filterers that will sift through the messages sent from the normal people and see what the messages are about. The filterers can then state the stance taken by the person who sent the message, which is then used to generate statistics that are sent to the politician. This saves massive amounts of time for the politician as they receive only important statistics instead of massive data dumps. The filterer is appointed by the politician to ensure they are trustworthy and the users can message any politician that has an account with Your Voice.
The major challenges we ran into were how to speed up the transmission of messages from the user to the filterer and the filterer to the politician. We also had to put in additional work on the filterer's side of the application to dynamically update important parts of the webpage.
The accomplishment that we are most proud of is that we were able to use a very secure login system while maintaining speed throughout Your Voice. We were also able to host our messages on a local server to reduce latency and found a balance between a minimalist design and and a functional one.
Our team also learned how to work the Django backend and how to style with Bootstrap even though some browsers were very unsupportive of the types of formatting that allowed our simplistic design.
In the future, we would love to implement the IBM Watson Language Understanding tool as part of a text analyzer to help users of the Your Voice platform verify that their point is coming across as intended. We would also like to add the speech to text API from either IBM Watson or Google Cloud. The AWS EC2 service would allow instant scalability for Your Voice on any platform. Lastly, we would like to bring this service to mobile devices to increase the convenience of communicating with politicians.