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September 6, 2010


Making it easier?

by Marina

I often see signs on websites like “It’s fun, easy, fast, convenient etc.” Clams like that make me, the site user, that much more frustrated when my experience on those sites is opposite of fun and easy.

I had to change my address for my driver’s license and my health card this weekend. ServiceOntario’s website promised to make it easier for me – “Change your address for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, health card and Outdoors Card quickly and easily in one secure, simple transaction.”

I was sold. I clicked on the big green “Do it Online Now” button and landed on this screen.

So what do I see now?

A Welcome message. (Do they welcome people on every page? This one is, at least, 4 clicks down in the site’s hierarchy).
Again I see the same line about how easy it is to use this website. However, seeing so many instructions on how to use this Program (what’s a Program?) and “Help” buttons all over the screen give me an impression that this will not be an easy ride.

I am presented with a few choices: Integrated Address Change (What? Plain language please!), Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (And why would I care which Ministry handles what?).

I choose “Integrated Address Change”, as I need to change address for two cards.

Here is what I see on the next screen:

Apparently, change address for Driver’s License is temporarily unavailable. I choose Health Card option only and get an error message informing me that “I must select two or more ministries.” But there are only three choices, one of which is unavailable and the second one, Outdoor Card, I don’t have, so I can’t choose “two or more ministries”. It looks like I have to go back and select ministries individually and then provide same address twice anyway. So much for “Integrated Address Change” and “fast and easy”.

So I went and changed my address for Driver’s License. However, for whatever reason, I couldn’t complete the process of changing my address for the Health Card.

Here is the message I’ve got at the end:

Does anyone know what MOHA0003 or MOHLTC means? Would a newcomer or a person with grade 8 education be able to read and comprehend this message?

In her presentation “Deafness Awareness for web teams” Lisa Herrod, UX Consultant from Sydney, Australia, and the author of the article “Deafness and the User Experience“, provides this quote:

“Many Deaf people can navigate the web & find the information they want, but then cannot actually understand it because the level of English used is too high.” – Deaf people and the Internet 2006

I am so glad that now I will be presented with a “convenient electronic form“, as my experience so far was far from convenient. Though, I am now asked to print and mail that form to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. So why can’t I submit that form online? As if by printing and mailing it makes it so much better or maybe more reliable than the online form. If I wanted to mail something, I’d have chosen mail, instead of online in the first place.

Hmmm… back to my original question “Making it easier… Really? Have they tried it themselves?”
Because if they did, they’d design entry screen that looked something like this, and they’d never use the language that very few people could understand.

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Mark Y
    Sep 10 2013

    Did you ever find out what “MOHA0003” is?

    This site is a POS


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