The School of Journalism offers a variety of opportunities for its students. One of those opportunities was to take a class with David Ewald, Matthew Noe, and Melissa Chan at Uncorked Studios in Portland, Oregon. The class began with those three asking us a simple question: What is a problem or frustration that you've encountered in the world, that could be solved through design?
I chose the DMV.
MY ORIGINAL PROPOSAL
Everyone, regardless of political leanings, race, or sexual orientation can agree on one thing: The DMV sucks. I spent a day at the DMV and, instead of sitting around being as miserable as everyone else, I tried to understand why. Here’s what I came up with:
1. People are bored out of their minds. You can’t leave, even though there isn’t a bathroom, food, or water. Even the people who work at the DMV are bored.
2. It’s extremely confusing. There’s a certain level of anxiety that can only be reached when you’ve been at the DMV for two and a half hours and it’s about to close, you’ve finally made it up to the counter, and you’re terrified that the cranky DMV employee says you’ve filled out the wrong forms and you have to start all over again tomorrow.
3. It’s an unwelcoming environment. Nobody put in the effort to design a welcoming or even fully functioning and efficient design system into place. That goes for their online site as well as the physical locations.
I propose that the DMV website undergo a serious revamp, where the most prominent question is: What do you want to do? A system I believe would work would a registration that went along with your car that allowed you to access a personal account online that gave you access to forms as well as explicit instructions as to when and what you needed to keep your car up to date with the governmental system. This personal account would link to a text system, where when your number is put into the DMV counter, you could be notified to return to the DMV when the already digital counter is 10-15 numbers from your number. Since every car owner and licensed driver must visit the DMV, I say we make it as pleasant as possible.
View the Keynote below to see where these thoughts took me.