The Digital Innovation Office (DIO) is a small team within the Government of Alberta that focuses on digital transformation by using service design methodologies. The DIO had pre-selected several big issues to improve throughout Alberta, and partnered with Yellow Pencil for two of them. Of which, I had the opportunity to co-lead a project focused on creating an online tool for Albertans to dispute their traffic tickets.
The team of prosecutors we were working with had to commute to several small towns, and especially in winter months, the drive became quite dangerous. The icy roads, paired with sitting in an office alone with angry drivers, led to this initiative.
We started by observing traffic court throughout Alberta. This gave us a deep understanding of the types of interactions that happened frequently and we documented patterns. We also gained an understanding of why things were done the way they were, and how the outdated back office systems influenced the prosecutors’ choices and outcomes.
We paired these insights with service design methods including: storyboarding, journey mapping, personas, and product roadmaps. We also created service blueprints for the online dispute resolution, making a payment, accepting an offer, rejecting an offer, setting a trial, and usability testing. All of these efforts led to a driver-facing prototype, prosecutor-facing dashboard prototype, and emails for every notification instance.
With prototypes in hand, we returned to the courthouses for in-person user testing. My co-lead and I would take turns scribbling notes as fast as we could while the other walked drivers through the new, prototyped, system. We learned a lot watching drivers interact with the proposed system, and it was gratifying to update the prototype with their direct requests.
Although we had great intentions, Albertans felt differently, and the dispute portion of this initiative was paused at the beginning of 2022.