Creating a mock service pitch video to reimagine a service that's widely regarded as frustrating.

Service Design,
6 weeks,
Fall 2014

DMV Service Redesign

In this project, the task was to design (or redesign) a service and draft a video proposal identifying both digital and analog touch points. This project was a part of Design Research, a senior level course at MassArt where students work together in small teams to produce three separate design projects over the course of one semester. These projects were driven with the purpose to reveal the “soft deliverable” research process in conjunction with a “hard deliverable” design artifact. Each resulted in final presentations to share field research studies, user interviews, ideation, revisions, and results. The course addresses a need for team management, driven by the students to determine roles and deliverables.

Each taking the lead on one of the three prompts, the Service Design animation was my responsibility to drive the vision and final execution. My team was a trio of designers with distinct strengths, setting us up for both a well rounded and challenging semester. We had the programmer and interaction-centric Alex Norton, the creative and traditionally-focused Brittany Johnston, and myself, with the emerging interest in dynamic media and user experience design. I credit the bumps that we hit along the road as key lessons learned that set me up to be a total team player.

Animation stills.

My team worked together to address the overarching frustration of the Department of Motor Vehicles [DMV], and proposed an integration of the rising capabilities of current day’s technologies. Together, we planned, researched, storyboarded, and designed visual assets to contribute to the final presentation. The final animation, done in After Effects CC, is my most significant hard deliverable contribution to the semester's projects.

Excepts from check-in presentations we gave on a weekly basis that lead up to the finale. Above, defining our project goals and determining service touch points.

Our team process included countless hours of mind mapping, field research, synthesis of insights, ideation, and messy attempts of time management that resulted in a number of sleepless nights to meet deadlines.

"I'm not being nice. I don't have to be nice, I work here!"
From an interview with a clerk at the RI DMV

Over the course of a week, we observed and interviewed people at 3 local DMV locations, and I spent 4.5 hours going through the process of renewing my license (which I hadn't gone through since getting a AAA membership at the age of 17 to skip the long lines of license renewal).

When designing with a focus on emerging technologies, we identified Generation X (Those born between 1965 - 1980) as arguably the most overlooked generation. This established our target to prioritize designing for users with little experience with emerging technologies, and enable them to feel supported and welcomed in this often uncomfortable area of learning.

By focusing our field and market research on this profile of users, we were able to synthesize their top pain points when going through the license renewal process at their local DMV:

  1. Long waiting times
  2. Unfriendly staff
  3. Inaccessible locations
  4. Boring process

Excepts from our final presentation, which breaks out the process from field research to insights to the opportunity to crafting the mission statement.

Each week started with planning and creating a bucket of outstanding tasks to assign each team member based on class schedules, preferred skill sets, and priority.

Design Research had an interesting set up. The three projects that we were working on in parallel were also split up into three sub-classes with separate professors. We organized the tasks to complete per week by who was reviewing the deliverable: Philip Leung led Service Design, Jan Kubasiewicz led Sound and Visual Instruction Design, and Gunta Kaza led Designer as Observer. See all three final presentations on Slideshare.

Thanks for reading!