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Using Data-Driven Analytics To Improve The User Experience For The California DMV’s Integrated Web Applications

Elevating The California DMV Web Applications

Following the launch of the new California DMV website, 10up was engaged to improve the user experience for DMV’s integrated web applications in two phases.

  1. Phase one would focus on bringing the web applications into visual parity with the website design and making modest user experience improvements along the way.
  2. Phase two would encompass holistic web application user experience improvements based on data analysis and DMV customer feedback to further improve conversion rates for online transactions.

Achieving Visual Parity

The DMV website and its web applications, where transactions like renewing your registration or filing for a change of address are completed, have always been disparate technology stacks.

10up turned the new website’s design language into a platform-agnostic design system for the apps to create a consistent, seamless digital experience for constituents engaging with the DMV’s online platforms and applications — an initiative that was especially important during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when minimizing offline and in person transactions was key.

10up’s iterative approach to designing and engineering a shared design system created visual continuity, reduced the time to launch for each subsequent application, simplified maintenance requirements, and lowered DMV’s long-term cost of app ownership.

While overhauling the visual design presentation of the applications, 10up also implemented modest user experience enhancements across the apps, improving microcopy, adjusting form elements, simplifying instructions, and clarifying error messages to help end users complete tasks faster and with greater ease.

To ensure future web applications maintain visual parity and remain compliant with web accessibility regulations, 10up made the new design system available to DMV and its approved vendors and provided comprehensive training and documentation. For instance, 10up taught DMV’s in-house engineers how to use the design system to speed up the development of new applications.

The new design system created massive efficiencies. On average, 10up rolled out a new, upgraded app every six weeks, launching 15 in total in less than a year — unheard of in government deployment schedules. Now, for the first time in DMV history, the website and its web applications are in visual parity, delivering one seamless experience for California residents.

Visual Parity Between DMV Website And Applications

Improving UX With Data

With the initial app improvements complete, DMV would engage 10up once again to continuously improve conversion rates of online transactions within its web apps.

Data-Driven Decisions

Before making any changes, data is gathered by 10up Experience Designers through conversion funnel analysis, A/B testing, heat mapping, and user testing via screen recording and user surveys to better understand how people use the apps, where friction is encountered, and when tasks are abandoned. 10up then interprets the data-driven analytics and provides DMV executives analysis and insight that ensure decisions improve the user experience and increase conversion rates.

Workflow Renovation

10up works closely with the DMV customer service and IT departments to consult on technology and platform integrations, reimagine its website application workflows, and when possible, decommission expensive, legacy applications in favor of more cost-effective integrations and software solutions.

Whether working within DMV’s IBM infrastructure to update its Java applications, rebuilding React apps from the ground up, or migrating app workflows to WordPress, 10up is not only making it easier for DMV staff to manage its applications without IT involvement, but also making it easier for California residents to complete tasks online and reduce the burden on DMV field offices.

This includes:

  • Converting the DMV appointment scheduler from Java to React and engineering a tight integration with WordPress data, third-party APIs, and DMV field offices.
  • Introducing new technology integrations like SMS messaging for text and email notifications.
  • Replacing five DMV applications with an off-the-shelf WordPress plugin.
  • Incorporating automated knowledge testing to give residents the ability to take a driver’s test online rather than visiting a field office.

Old DMV Application Page Design

DMV Appointment Scheduler

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence

The first website integration of the DMV Service Advisor (chatbot) was approached as an embedded third-party application using an iframe, with little opportunity to control its interface design.

10up’s new approach interfaces directly with DMV’s artificial intelligence engine over APIs, still leveraging its natural language processing capabilities while delivering a more seamless user interface that tightly integrates with website features like the site search.

With natural language processing, when a visitor types “I need to renew my registration” in the Service Advisor, it can intelligently respond with, “It sounds like you want to renew your registration. Is this correct?” If the user responds with a yes answer, the Service Advisor can provide a direct link to begin that process.

The Service Advisor provides several different ways to access DMV’s online services, helps visitors complete DMV tasks online, reduces field office wait times, and increases customer satisfaction.

To date, 10up’s work on the web applications has significantly lowered DMV’s annual software maintenance and operating costs, all while providing a more attractive, enticing consumer experience.

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