Back where I come from they say, ‘never mend a bridge unless it is completely broken’ – which couldn’t have been truer then the case with myRta website. The previous website didn’t look very funky, but it did what it was supposed to do. You could place exam booking online with least amount of fuss, you could practice DKT exam and you could obtain whatever information you needed. The new website encourages you to register, but you can also place the exam booking without registering. You know what is funniest bit? Both requires same amount of fields to be filled. So why should both cases be available?
My personal experience was bitter. When I failed my first driving exam; while placing another booking, I thought why not use the website? So I registered myself diligently and after the first screen I was stumped.
I can choose the car type – class C but it won’t let me choose exam. What gives?
So I head to RTA and ask them about it, they informed they don’t deal with it.
They helped me place the booking and told me I should call up 13.. for website issues.
So I did.
The woman on phone volunteered to place a booking but couldn’t solve the issue and couldn’t tell me why I wasn’t able to place a booking online. She hazard guessed that because I have a per-existing booking that’s why I see all the options disabled. No matter what I say I couldn’t convince her that it was happening to me beforehand.
At this point I’m fairly pissed off.
Another exam failed.
So a month later I try again. This time the mystery unfolded itself. The lady I called explained, if someone has taken an exam, they can’t place another booking for a week. Now how the heck I would know this?
In the world of web design there is a concept called error/warning/info messaging.
When state of normal functions changes, or when the state of data in view changes, you make it visible to the user.
You can use:
- loading screens,
- loading wheels,
- flash messages.. etc etc..
Without stuffs like these, user would think you are pulling his chair out. Making user uncomfortable is the last thing you want to do. Websites like myRta has a monopoly over the service it provides. But if tomorrow RTA is forced to expose an interface to its service, just about anyone can build a better website with promise of better service; leaving myRta site barren.
Here is a mockup of what would have made things better. Now how hard can it be to implement this?
Now.. activity time!!
Prerequisite: myRta website user login/any driver license number.
- Head out to myrta website.
- Try to login (I would have absolutely loved to give you a nice url like www.myrta.com/login link without the session key garbage in it, but myRTA is too awesome for it.. don’t click in this url, it lands you in an error page.);
- ..wait a sec.. instead of using your password, use this random strings
!@#$, which are by the way, perfectly normal password characters.
- click login
- Wait to see an error message.. what do you see?
Post your findings here in the comment section.