In Winter 2014, TxTag, Central Texas’ toll operator, incorrectly billed 35,000 customers due to a problem with their payments vendor. As UX designers, we were asked to design a solution to counteract this negative PR and possibly attract new customers. Time frame: 2 weeks.
NOTE: This case was a group project of three designers – Sean Philippi, Adam Roberts, and myself. Though we each provided quality assurance, I was the primary contributor for the bolded and flagged deliverables below.
- User Interviews with Austin residents
- Task Analysis of current payment and dispute resolution process
- Competitive Analysis
- Research and ecosystem visualization of payment bureaucracy
Task Analysis and interviews revealed a bill payer is often prompted to multiple organizations’ websites to pay one TxTag bill. Because TxTag, and the Central Texas Mobile Authority by extensions, depends on third-party organizations to charge and collect late fees, dispute resolution were often shoved from one organization to the other. Furthermore, though TxTag promises that your account can cover tollroad charges across Texas, this is not the case. To begin solving the payment problem, I first untangled the organizational and database hierarchy in a simple visual:
Personas and feature prioritization
- Create primary and secondary personas
- Rapid design solutions studio
In short design studio, I ideated possible solutions which drew from both competitive analysis and user interviews. This ideations reimagine the entire TxTag experience and not just the existing digital interfaces. This broader ideation helped the whole group with the following feature prioritization.
- Feature Prioritization (MoSCoW method)
- Storyboard User Story
- Features Card Sorting
- Synthesis and Initial Wireframing
- Test prototype form flow with users of TxTag
Iterate and Clickable Prototype
- TxTag Dispute Resolution Form Flow
- Automatic schedule call and appointments Flow
- New Account / Manage Account Flow
We contemplated a list of feature additions to combat negative press, including integrating TxTag as a seamless part of Google Maps trip planning experience or stocking tags at local vendors alongside tollroads. However, we realized TxTag would still not be able to support disputes from a greater client base, and would not benefit from a case of “featuritis.” The heart of this redesign was building billing competency to regain customer trust. Thus, once we identified through user interviews that the problem was accounts payable, we stayed focused on bill collections pain points.
Truly rectifying the problem of erroneous billing required better database integration amongst multiple agencies and private businesses. Our scope did not allow for us to address this deeper problem, but as a designer, I built out a dispute resolution form flow that properly classified complainer’s grievances, and helped call center employees at TxTag navigate the dispute.
Form redesign is not a sexy part of UX, but it can shave minutes to hours off of a customer’s experience. This project aimed to increase transparency, response time, and dispute resolution, rather than add new mapping features or discounts. In this way, we build existing customer trust and fight the negative stereotype from the core, rather than solicit new customers who would ultimately remain unsatisfied. Additionally, since TxTag recent criticisms included the large sum payed to rectify billing errors , a large, feature and hardware heavy solution would only add to negative PR, whereas a faster dispute resolution would appease the current customer base.
 “TxDOT Refunding $1.7 Million for Botched Toll Bills,” The Texas Tribune, 17