Québec City Parking Infraction

Introduction

After receiving a parking ticket in Québec City for a parking spot with an expired meter, the Capian team decided to make the most of the situation and evaluate the client experience of receiving this type of ticket and making a subsequent payment.


Parking violations are visibly the same as for a more serious infraction: speeding, going through a red light, school zone, bus corridor, etc. The parking ticket seemed indestructible - it's in a plastic-like paper. 


An intersting observation stems from using legal jargon on the ticket. Terms such as "poursuivant", "peine", "défendeur" and "plaidoyer" made us feel like delinquents, even criminals.

  • Step 1: the yellow notice is placed on your windshield
  • Step 2: the ticket
  • Step 3: the payment process
  • Step 4: finalizing the transaction

Note: this evaluation was done in late 2014. Since then, it is possible that the City of Québec's payment process has changed. The screen captures were processed with an older version of Capian, since which we have improved the quality of the captures.

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1

Paper Notice

Criteria:

User Experience, Significance of Codes

Description:

The first thing you see when coming up to your car is Québec City informing you that you can pay your infractions online. The user has the impression that this is good news, while being unsure of how to react at receiving the the paper.

Recommendation:

Prioritize the information so that it's not agressive and so that the user feels less unease upon seeing the yellow slip (which seems to indicate that they have lots of chances for paying online). Make the ticket informational and not promotional.

2

Information and Indication

Criteria:

Guidance

Description:

This ticket can be used for multiple types of infractions: parking, speeding, etc. Several sections are therefore incomplete because, in this case, they do not apply to parking infraction.

Incomprehensible codes and other elements are noted, which weigh down the cognitive load of both the issuing officer and the recipient.

Recommendation:

Would it not be more appropriate to have different tickets for different types of infractions? The cognitive load is heavy for both the issuing officier and the recipient.

3

Clarity of Information

Criteria:

Consistency

Description:

A driver has just gotten a parking ticket - the 'fees' section is titled 'minimum fees' + other costs 


Un automobiliste vient de se faire mettre une amende pour une place de stationnement et le détail de la "peine" se résume à une "peine minimale" + a final 'amount claimed'. 


The other terms (towing fee, contribution/tax/taxation) are not applicable and should therefore not be shown. 'Contribution Fee' should have a different name seeing as having a ticket is already a contribution in and of itself.

Recommendation:

Change the terms and structure to better show the money owed. It's not normal to see information without an explanation. For the driver, these are all already fees.

4

Name of Agent

Criteria:

Concision, Information Density

Description:

The agent's name is found 3 times on this ticket, as well as the validation code. The person receiving the ticket has to ask themselves why this information is so important as to be shown multiple times.

Recommendation:

Shouldn't the issuing agent's name be shown more discreetly and only one time? The ticket should be reformulated to avoid duplicate information or information that is shown too frequently.

5

Terminology

Criteria:

User Experience, Significance of Codes

Description:

These terms are aggressive and are not representative of the audience, the driver in question. This is only a parking ticket, not a criminal act.

Recommendation:

Use different terms to better adapt to the situation.

6

Back: Contextual Information

Criteria:

Information Density

Description:

This information is dense and hard to read. Technical terms are used, such as specific laws and judicial regulations. This is certainly not comprehensible to the average citizen.

Recommendation:

Rewrite the legal information without unnecessary and inaccessible legal terminology.

7

Back: Cautionary Information

Criteria:

Information Density

Description:

If the driver decides to not read this information right away, there is little chance they will fully understand what actions to take next. These terms are menacing and in all capitol letters, which connotes potential danger or a lack of respect.

Recommendation:

The driver is in an uncomfortable situation and feels a lack of empathy.

8

Back: Communication Addresses

Criteria:

Information Density

Description:

The number of addresses to contact is more confusing than anything else. Who do these addresses correspond to? Where are there so many? Who should the driver contact first?

Recommendation:

Identify the most important contact for the driver and identify the role of the other addresses.

9

Page length

Criteria:

Immediate Feedback, Legibility, Information Density

Description:

When it's time to pay the parking ticket online, the welcome page is too long. A lot of the information is not pertinent to paying a parking ticket since the ticket itself is for multiple infractions.

Recommendation:

Reduce the amount of information on this page to simplify the user experience and not burden them with inapplicable information.

10

Buttons

Criteria:

Grouping/Distinction by Location, Legibility, Minimal Actions

Description:

A 'Top of Page' button appears at the bottom of each page, hidden and with symbols that imply a double affordance.

Recommendation:

Remove this button altogether, since there are very few people who will not scroll and not know how to navigate back to the top. Those people would most likely not use the website to pay their ticket at all.

11

Icons

Criteria:

User Experience, Significance of Codes

Description:

This particular icon is often reserved for judicial uses and not for a city trying to create a relationship with citizens. Sympathy for the citizen is lost with this cold judicial symbol.

Recommendation:

Change or remove the icon so that the driver does not feel judged. Again, this is a parking ticket, not a criminal offense.

12

Informational Density

Criteria:

Immediate Feedback, Concision, Information Density

Description:

The user is already focus, irritated, and stressed due to this poor experience. They then have to read all of this information to be sure they didn't forget anything and to not have to pay additional fees.

Recommendation:

Reduce the amount of text, go to the essential information, and put legal mentions elsewhere to free up space.

13

Descriptions

Criteria:

Immediate Feedback, User Experience, Significance of Codes

Description:

The words 'Add to Cart' are not appropriate for this site. The user is not partaking in e-commerce for Québec City. There is no shopping taking place, rather a way of paying a parking ticket.

Recommendation:

Determine another label to incite users to pay their tickets - i.e. 'Pay,' 'Settle,' 'Bill,' etc.

14

Information

Criteria:

Brevity, Consistency

Description:

The user doesn't need to at this stage that the city is charging tax or what the tax amount is. Like any bill, this information should come at the time of payment.

Recommendation:

Integrate tax information in the bill itself.

15

Stress Management

Criteria:

Immediate Feedback, User Experience, Error Protection

Description:

Users already have a high stress level. Showing a countdown for finishing the transaction could make them make mistakes.

Recommendation:

Don't show a countdown timer, but show an indication that there is a total of 20 minutes to finish the transaction.

16

Payer Identification

Criteria:

Error Protection, Consistency

Description:

The user has just left Québec City's website and been redirected to a payment site. There is no mention of Québec City on this screen, just the name.

Recommendation:

In an age where internet piracy and identity theft runs rampant, it would be better to reassure the user that they are on a secure, validated site approved by Québec City. This site promotes a lack of confidence.

17

Confidence

Criteria:

Immediate Feedback, Consistency, Significance of Codes

Description:

The average user navigates and knows e-commerce sites. The number of transactions made on the internet grows with every month. But the company CT Payment is not well known. When you go on their website, the user is not reassured since their site doesn't seem up to date. For a company that processes credit card payments and deals with personal information, this is very worrisome.

Recommendation:

Give users confidence with their payments. Do a security audit to make sure that there are no security pitfalls.

18

Confirmation Buttons

Criteria:

Prompting, Immediate Feedback, Error Protection

Description:

The action buttons are at the bottom of the page, separate from the payment section.

Recommendation:

Place the buttons closer to the payment form with the timer above the text blocks.

19

Confirmation Page

Criteria:

User Control, User Experience, Consistency

Description:

Once the user has paid, they are redirected to a page without mention of Québec City et le CSS est totalement tombé. Even after refreshing the page, the stylesheet does not charge.

Recommendation:

Add Québec City to the page. Adjust the stylesheet as quickly as possible. People who are less accustomed to this type of online operation will be lost and will make mistakes.

20

Email 1 : Terminology and Presentation

Criteria:

User Experience, Consistency

Description:

The user knows at this moment how to contact the city and where their payment has gone. In the end, the payment wasn't processed by any of the addresses mentioned on the parking ticket.

There is not visual identity for Québec City on this ticket, which would help the user.

Recommendation:

Add a visual identity for Québec City.

Don't use all caps for a receipt.

Work on the information design so that users can quickly find important elements and understand them.

Prioritize the information for the user.

21

Email 2 : Confirmation

Criteria:

Immediate Feedback, Legibility

Description:

Payment confirmation information is not very precise in the email.

The user is left to interpret information to the best of their ability.

Once again, the terminology is not adapted to this particular situation. 'Your Cart' is for e-commerce, not paying a ticket.

Recommendation:

With the number of entries in this table, the text could show the ticket number. There is a better way of showing this information so that the user can confirm that they've paid the entire ticket.

Conclusion

Québec City could review the entire ticketing and payment process. Currently - and this is an assumption - they are likely losing money, time, and payments.


Do you know that the color blue, used by Québec City as well as other cities and companies, is the most used color? It's the color people tend to like the most since it's a soothing color without connotations. Blue being frequently used and very common, many people do not notice it.


Québec City could improve the receipt and payment processes as well as their communication from a general viewpoint. Taking into account users will help them to preemptively address issues, save money, and increase citizen satisfaction.


During this time when cities try to seduce citizens with digital technology, the experience must be rethought and contextualized.

Statistics – Rules distribution

Statistics – Severity distribution

Report created with Capian