top of page

Texas Department of Public Safety experience

Research and Redesign



After interacting with the Texas Department of Public Safety website and centers multiple times, I found that the experience was wanting in many ways. 

I, along with my collaborators, Janice Fabunan and Vibhanika Ravichandran, used the Design Thinking Framework to research and redesign the experience, as a means to  build our experience in Research and Design.


Role: User Research, Strategy and Design


The current Texas DPS website is visually cluttered with poor information architecture and is hard to navigate. The centers are always crowded with long wait-times.

Heuristic Evaluation of current website




Schedule appointment page


Heuristic violated

Usability defect description


  • Aesthetic and Minimalist design

  • Structure of information

  • Looks dated

  • Busy with unrelated links clustered together

  • Lack of information hierarchy

  • No chunking of similar information

Schedule appointment page

  • Minimalist design

  • Memory

  • Wordy

  • Too many instructions to remember to assess if one is eligible for online services


Research Plan

Research goals

  • To test the hypothesis that the Texas DPS website is difficult to use

  •  To understand the pain points associated with the DPS experience from using the website to the experience at the DPS centers

User-specific Research questions

  • What do users feel about the usability of the Texas DPS website? 

  • What are the challenges related to the overall experience with Texas DPS?

Research Methodology

1. Generative - Survey to understand user behavior and pain-points​

2. Card sort to understand user mental models for Information Architecture

3. Empathy exercises - Empathy map and Journey map

4. Evaluative -

  • A/B testing between current website and redesigned website

  • Usability Testing to test the new scheduler


3 weeks

Target Users

  • People living in Texas

  • People who have experience with the Texas DPS

Participant information

Survey: posted on a Texas sub-reddit

participant profile.png

Findings and Insights


Role: Collaboratively worked on the survey instrument. 

Link to survey:

purpose of visit chart.png
noun_Magnifying Glass_113788.png


1. 98% of the participants visited the website for Driver's License/ID related services.

2. 50% of the participants indicated that scheduling an appointment on the website was not easy.

3. 43% of participants were not served within their appointment slot at the DPS center.

4. 62% of participants had to wait for over an hour to be served, with 10% waiting for over 4 hours.

noun_inverted commas_766075.png

They need to fix the scheduling/setting an appointment page because it should be less complicated. Instead of going back and forth between pages, maybe better to show the dates and times available in just one page.

Survey participant

noun_inverted commas_766075.png

Why isn’t the get in line online thing ever working? Why is information so hard to find?

Survey participant

noun_inverted commas_766075.png

Why does every visit to DPS take so long?

Survey participant

An article in The Texas DPS website indicated that the main cause of overcrowding at the centers was that people who were eligible for online services, still showed up at the centers. 

The usability audit suggested that, it was hard to determine eligibility for online services. 

Card Sort

Role: Collaboratively planned, executed and interpreted the card sort. 

Since the Texas DPS offers several services other than Driver's License/ID, the website contains a plethora of information. We conducted a card sort to understand users' mental models and design a more robust Information Architecture. 

We conducted 2 card sorts, for:

1. Information within Driver's License/ID

2. Information in the entire website that includes all services

noun_Magnifying Glass_113788.png



1. For the Driver's License/ID services, the card sort did not offer clarity since there was no agreement among the participants for any of the categories.

2.  For the overall website, we were able to establish categories that would be intuitive to users, from the card sort.

Empathy Exercises

Role: Collaboratively worked on an empathy map and journey map

Texas DPS-empathy map (2).jpg

Empathy map

We compiled the user pain points that we gathered from the survey, as well as observations from our own experience into an Empathy Map on Miro. 

Customer Journey Map - Texas DPS - Copy

Journey map

The journey map helped us chalk out the steps involved in scheduling and honoring an appointment and the pain-points involved in each step. From there, we could generate ideas to eliminate the pain-points.

noun_Magnifying Glass_113788.png


1. The information architecture of the website and the appointment scheduler had to be redesigned in order to be easier to use.

2. The experience at the centers was frustrating because of long wait-times due to large crowds.

3.  The crowds were large because users who could get services done online, still went to the centers, because information is hard to find on the website.


We engaged in a "How Might We.." exercise to generate ideas.


How might we consolidate the large volume of information on the website into an easily digestible format.

How might we present important information, without users having to seek them out. 


noun_Dart Board_1536320.png

Conversation-as-a-Service to gather information from the user about their needs, using a few simple questions and guide them to where they need to go. 


Design Development



Landing Page – 2.png
Base 1 (Home) – 1.png




Design Details

current home.png

1. The home page in the final design asks the user to select a service out of different categories, that we established through the Card Sort, for easier navigation.


2. One of the questions in the series is a form, that determines if the user is eligible to get the service done online. This way, the user does not have to seek out information about online services and whether they are eligible, as in the original website.



Role:  I conducted one A/B test and one Usability test.

A/B Testing (original website v. redesign)

No. of participants


Tasks Tested

1. Schedule an appointment for a New Class C Driver License

2. Change the address on your Driver License


1. The proposed redesign has a more contemporary UI. 

2. It is easier to navigate than the current website.

Usability Testing

Since, it was not possible to make the users schedule an appointment in the real website, we could not test the redesigned scheduler during the A/B test. So, we also conducted Usability Tests with the same participants. 

No. of participants


Tasks Tested

Schedule an appointment for a Class Driver's License



  •  Easy to navigate

  • Checking eligibility for online services is so much easier than having to read all the criteria. 


  • In the Confirm services page, the buttons were confusing and almost all of the users tested, assumed that they were clickable.

  •  In the appointment scheduler page, users found the "see more" timings option hard to locate.

Design changes based on feedback from usability tests

confirm page1.png
confirm page2.png

In the confirmation page, the icons were replaced with a list, to avoid confusion.



To further improve the user experience at the center, we turned to Service Design and developed a Service Design Blueprint.

Service Blueprint (1).jpg


noun_Dart Board_1536320.png

The main ideas that emerged were:

  • No walk-ins, appointments only

  • Applications that can be completed and submitted online, before the appointment

  • QR code scanner to get appropriate ticket at the center

  • Self-service kiosks at centers and at public places for certain services


We each chose one scenario and created a Storyboard to complete the exercise. 


Project 3

bottom of page