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Code DMV #1

lukefretwell opened this Issue Feb 25, 2019 · 4 comments


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lukefretwell commented Feb 25, 2019


Anyone interested in organizing a SAC-based, in-person 'Code DMV' open space event in the near future?

馃挭 馃捇 馃惢


'Re-imagining the California DMV website'

I recently visited my local California Department of Motor Vehicles field office to renew my driver license and, because I [scheduled an appointment ahead of time](, my experience wasn't the nightmare it's traditionally made out to be.

However, the designer in me couldn't help but think about how the entire DMV process could be re-designed, both offline and online.

I'm still waiting to receive my new [REAL ID license](, so I went to the [DMV website]( to learn how I could find the status. While there, I realized there is a huge opportunity to re-imagine its user experience, so I spent a few hours designing a prototype.

## Goals

The key goals of DMV digital should be to:

*   Increase website traffic where users can self-serve
*   Increase kiosk traffic where users can self-serve
*   Decrease field office visits (because of the successful implementation of the above two bullets)

## Campaign

I came up with an "Online. Not in line." slogan, which I incorporated into the homepage to better help socialize the web and kiosks options.

There's significant creative opportunities around a campaign like this to drive people to self-service or be more proactive using the website and kiosks to be better prepared before making a field office visit.

## Analysis

Without getting too detailed in a critique of the current DMV website, there are two areas that should be of primary focus:

*   Content: The content should be significantly consolidated, edited and made more concise. Much of it is redundant, wordy and extraneous.
*   User interface: The aesthetic is clearly dated, but the use of graphics in certain instances is unnecessary. A clean, simple text-based approach with a more app/kiosk feel would make the experience feel less intimidating and cumbersome.

## What I did

I created prototypes of the [home]( and [secondary]( pages, focusing on simplicity and an app/kiosk user interface.


*   [Homepage](
*   [Secondary page](

## Tools I used

*   Hosting: [GitHub Pages](
*   Front-end: [Bootstrap](
*   Color/typography: [U.S. Web Design System](
*   Homepage search box: [Google Custom Search Engine](

## Feedback

It's doubtful I'll continue working on this, but would love to hear feedback or perhaps start a conversation around how the DMV website could be re-imagined to better serve the people of California.

*   [Visit the prototype](
*   [Collaborate at the GitHub repo](

## Thank you

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who works at DMV, especially those of you on the front lines in the field offices.

Decades of bureaucracy coupled with the reach and role the agency has on every Californian has created a Herculean, thankless challenge for everyone who works there. While we all know it could be made better, you're the ones in the trenches.

As a proud California resident, I hope you challenge status quo thinking and re-imagine how DMV can be re-designed -- offline and online -- and become a positive conduit for state pride -- internally and externally -- and for how public service should work.

Thank you for serving California.


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patwater commented Feb 26, 2019

@lukefretwell great idea! I've been chatting with @abquirarte and our open collaboration of California CfA brigades about similar ideas. Also I love the tagline 馃憤

We've decided to focus on civic user testing very much in line with these ideas and think we can target feedback on A) DMV as it is and B) DMV as it should be.

In that vein have you seen this post from my friend Krystof?

Towards testing the DMV website as it is, see here for our simple survey that we've been sharing to get feedback on the DMV online user experience:

Note I would phrase this less as a hackathon though and more as an exercies in design thinking and reimagining the DMV website


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abquirarte commented Feb 26, 2019

@lukefretwell lukefretwell changed the title DMV Hackathon Code DMV Mar 1, 2019


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lukefretwell commented Mar 1, 2019

@patwater this is fantastic. I updated the issue text from 'Hack DMV' to 'Code DMV' as I think it still evokes what you're discussing re: design thinking exercise, but also ties in nicely with Code California and incorporates the hacker mentality of actually building something during the process.


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abquirarte commented Mar 1, 2019

@patwater by when can you send me what you had in mind? :)

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