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A clear view on the election results

On June 9, Belgian citizens went to vote for the European, federal, and regional elections. As a public broadcaster, VRT NWS has a crucial role in accurately informing citizens before, during, and after the elections. How to deliver news about such an important event in an understandable and engaging way to a broad audience? That was the main challenge for our design team and the digital product team of VRT NWS.

The strategic challenge

Clarifying, engaging, but above all, guiding

Elections are highly relevant for the audience in a very small time frame. VRT NWS was looking for a structural way to embed election content from June to October. Apart from the elections on June 9, municipal elections will take place in October. A broad approach for the entire elections was therefore necessary.

The editorial team of VRT NWS mapped out on a timeline all election content from June to October, spread across the different touchpoints of VRT NWS (website, app, television, and social media channels). This content strategy served as the foundation for the design team to create a user-friendly and accessible election environment across VRT NWS’s digital channels. Clarifying information, engaging visitors, but above all, guiding them through the vast array of election information were the most important challenges.

Many essential questions came up: Where does the “Stemtest” fit within the web and app environment? How can VRT NWS answer the questions of the Flemish people and gather them in a clear place? How can VRT NWS inform every Flemish person about the election results in a clear and inclusive way?

Our solution: top-notch experience design

Time-bound KIES24 environment and navigation

We developed a concept and validated it in an initial round of user testing. The analysis of the test results and several iterations ultimately led to the creation of a time-bound KIES24 environment and navigation.

KIES24 environment and navigation on desktop

The editorial team was very enthusiastic about the KIES24 environment. Soon, they requested a variant for television. This way, users can easily follow the election results and content on the website, the app, and on television. All in the same, clear and consistent way.

Our approach

Modern and platform-proof

Election results must be clear, easily readable, and understandable at a glance. To make the data visualization more modern and platform-proof (from smartphone to TV studio), we moved away from the traditional comparison chart and opted for new data visualization techniques.

To make the data visualization more modern and platform-proof, we moved away from the traditional comparison chart.

A mobile-first approach

More than half of VRT NWS users visit the platform via the app. 80% of website visitors browse on their smartphones. A mobile-first approach to display results was therefore essential. How do you present a graph in the most clear and legible way on a smartphone? This requires a different approach than for desktop or television screens.

The screen size of smartphones is much smaller than those of computers or laptops, providing less space to display data and making details harder to see. This is especially true for complex graphs with many data points. Data points and labels are likely to overlap, making it difficult for the reader to interpret the graph correctly. Additionally, users might need to zoom in to view the graph, losing the overall perspective. This might hinder a proper understanding of trends and patterns in the data.

The design team had to consider these limitations when creating graphs and other visual elements. They found solutions in the use of interactive elements, such as zooming in and out, and presenting the data as concisely and clearly as possible. The team also explored alternative ways to display the data, such as showing summary information or using filters to highlight specific data.

The small screen size of smartphones make it a lot harder to display detailed data. Therefore, our design team had to look for alternative ways of visualizing data such as the use of interactive elements or using filters to highlight specific data.

Extra attention for first-time voters

nws.nws.nws is VRT NWS’ news platform targeted at youngsters. On June 9, many young people voted for the first time. The nws.nws.nws team quickly noticed that the platform plays an important role in informing young voters in Flanders. Therefore, nws.nws.nws decided to expand its social media channels with a new channel to ensure that first-time voters could easily find all election information.

Opting for a website touchpoint, to quickly launch with an MVP

After careful consideration, the design team and editorial team decided to develop a website rather than an application for nws.nws.nws. Statistics on app download behavior among young people influenced this decision. Additionally, the team wanted to launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first. By opting for a website, we could quickly test the concept with users and define the next steps through data analysis.

New styling for existing components thanks to a robust design system

The VRT NWS design system is designed to allow for a completely different style for the defined components by adjusting the two bottom layers (the Foundations and the Atoms & Molecules files). There were many additional elements for nws.nws.nws: new and playful icons, a new thumbnail view, and more color. Yet, with the addition and adjustment of a new foundations file, we managed to give the new nws.nws.nws website a completely new look. If you compare the two websites ( &, you will immediately recognize the components, only styled differently.

The VRT NWS design system is designed to allow for a completely different style for the defined components by adjusting the two bottom layers (the Foundations and the Atoms & Molecules files).

Right in time for ‘KIESfestival’

Thanks to the design system, we could add various iterations to the design and immediately test them with different stakeholders. This allowed the development team to quickly start the technical part of the project and allowed us to meet the KIESfestival (April 19) deadline. At that point, the editorial team could fill the website with all the essential information: from party positions to practical information about voting. The implementation of the “Jongerenstemtest” was also indispensable for the website launch.

Testing and adjusting

At the KIESfestival, we conducted extensive user tests with both first-time voters and teachers. What was their opinion of the new platform? Did they see added value? The reactions from teachers were positive: several had already recommended the website or reviewed it with their students during class. There was also much praise for the voting test, with its attractiveness and added value receiving an average score of 9/10.

Among young people, the website was already well-known but their reactions were rather mixed. They indicated they wouldn’t immediately use the website to follow world news. However, they found it valuable for school assignments and research for presentations. The website scored high in attractiveness with 8.5/10. They were enthusiastic about the design but also curious about what more the website would offer in the future.