The DMV Online Appointment System lets you schedule an in-person appointment before visiting an Oregon DMV office. In just ten days, the Oregon DMV received over 100,000 appointment requests. It is important to make this appointment booking process easy and seamless.
Interface: Mobile web
User goal: Make an appointment for a Real ID identification card, as soon as possible, at a nearby DMV
Business goal: Fewer help desk calls and more users successfully completing the flow
Age 18 - 65
Resident of Portland, Oregon
No car, reads and writes English, primarily uses phone
Create an appointment for a new Real ID identification card
As soon as possible, but at a nearby DMV
Cluttered pages, unclear instructions, repetitive questions, and inefficient flow all contribute to the system's inefficient flow. The current flow relies on hyperlinks to send the user to other relevant pages during the process and features difficult selection fields with long drop downs and confusing office location display.
I observed 5 users navigating the Oregon DMV's website on their mobile phones to schedule a Real ID appointment. I asked them a few questions along the way to define the typical user flow, their thoughts, and to uncover barriers. Key findings:
Text and information visualization is integral to the user experience
Users felt overwhelmed by the amount of text on each screen. There were no clear visual cues as to which text might be important, so users felt overwhelmed and compelled to read it all. Users often felt unaware of their current appointment completion status.
Repetitive questions negatively affected user motivation
Users were asked the same questions multiple times throughout the flow's beginning. There were many steps to take before the user even got to the appointment system, which was the biggest factor for user motivation to continue with the flow. The overhaul of text and repetitive questionnaire questions often left users feeling uninformed and left unmotivated.
Cognitive overload from display of all Oregon DMV offices
Users felt frustrated because they needed to scroll through all Oregon DMV offices, with unknown office availability until further steps, to find a nearby Downtown Portland office. Some were unable to determine their closest office because no information but the office name is given on first glance.
A big pain point of the current DMV appointment system is that people can get stuck in a cycle when choosing an office location, date, and time, because availability can only be checked one slot at a time. It also fails to account for flexibility and does not allow users to know which locations are closest to them, or compare appointment locations and earliest available slots. Users overall felt uninformed about the entire process.
Restructuring the system
With insights and identified opportunities in mind, I redesigned the user flow diagram that visualizes a simplified process. My hope is that the redesign, which displays essential information at the right time, would empower users to schedule appointments at the Oregon DMV with less confusion and hopefully lead to fewer help desk calls and more users completing the flow.
I focused on a 5 step linear process and making sure that all necessary and helpful information is displayed at the correct time so users feel more informed and secure after completing the steps and that the actual DMV visit feels less stressful.
Simplify to minimize user effort
Make sure that users can clearly understand each page of the appointment system and that any repetitive or unnecessary information is restructured. Make the process easy to lessen user frustration and have more users complete the flow.
Provide the user feedback
Provide clear signals and indicators to acknowledge user actions to help them feel secure and informed of their choices.
This initial appointment system page categorizes the services by type. Once selected, the item is highlighted and the next button is made visible and active.
DMV office location can be chosen manually by providing a zip code or city, or by current location. Listings are sorted by distance. The interactive map enables easy exploration and/or selection. Earliest appointment days and time are given so that users who may be willing to travel a little further, but prioritize the appointment availability for as early as possible, are best accommodated.
Select Date and Time
Appointment information such as type of appointment and location of Oregon DMV office are reiterated at the top. The contrast between available and non-available days is stark and easily differentiable. The user is able to select and view the earliest available dates and times.
Necessary input fields are provided. Focus state, validation, and error states are shown. This way, the user is able to receive feedback or reward for providing correctly completed fields and can feel more informed and secure about their choices. Some elements of the form input fields are indicated in a part of the design system displayed below.
Review and Confirm
The user is able to review the appointment details, and subsequently edit any fields, before confirming the appointment.
Once the appointment has been booked, a confirmation email is automatically sent to the provided address. Users can add this appointment to their Apply Wallet or Google Pay. A section outlines what documents should be brought and how to change/cancel the appointment.