The DMV: What Were They Thinking?

DMV appointment logoThe DMV is almost too easy a target, but I can’t resist. Some usability problems are so incredibly dumb, it’s hard to believe.

Missing from the logo repro’d here is what appears just below it: “Save time, go online.” Well, it’s only a time-saver compared to the hours you sit there without an appointment. (When I last went in without an appointment, it took at least an hour, probably much more; I didn’t check the time when I arrived.)

Their online reservation system: Pick a location and they’ll tell you the first available appointment. Only. Beyond that, you get to play “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?” (remember that game?) without the “hot” “cold” clues.  Want a different time? Fine. You pick a time and they tell you if it’s available. Friday at 2 in Oakland? Nope. Friday at 4? Nah. Friday at 2 in El Cerrito? Hah! Monday at 9 in Walnut Creek? Try again!

This morning, after I went through this for three different locations and finally scored an appointment, I clicked on the button to reserve it — and was told the system was down, come back later.

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