Category Archives: homework

Repaving the DMV

orange Ghia

Our first homework assignment for Nick Bilton’s 1′, 2′, 10′ class was to redesign the front page on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles site. Not a difficult thing to improve upon, but still hard to get right. For me the assignment was complicated by the fact that I don’t know shit about what people want from the DMV site, since I don’t drive (though I do have a license, to the astonishment of all and sundry; my ongoing act of service to humanity is to abstain from using it). So for inspiration, I looked at some DMV sites from other states, as well as few government sites from abroad:

And then, after working on my mockup for about four hours, I had the delightful experience of having Illustrator crash, taking my unsaved document with it. Joy! So then I got to do it again, this time in InDesign—which only took about thirty minutes, because I’m so much more ept with ID than I am with AI.

Whine, whine. The result is as follows (click to see a PDF at actual resolution):

DMV redesign

I focused on getting rid of most of the graphic crap, moving some obviously unimportant information out of the way, and making the bulleted lists easier to read. There’s still way too much text on the page, but without knowing what people go there to find out, I didn’t think I was qualified to cut any of it.

Photo: ghia by Ryan Carver; some rights reserved.