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Aug 18

Frustrating User Experiences: Boulder Parking Tickets

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When I started the Frustrating User Experiences I should have guessed that it would be like shooting fish in a barrel, as it is hard to be anal and get it right. Hell, I could take a look at this blog and find a million things too!

But, this next one is quite funny. I stupidly didn’t put enough money on the meter in Boulder the other day, and came back to a ticket. One cool think about the parking ticket meters in Boulder is that you can pay for them with a credit card which is nice. I wish they could have auto-incremented the fee on there!

A quick aside: A colleague pointed out that while having access to pay with a credit card is great, it means that you can’t use time from the person who left before his ran out! This means that even with the credit card processing fees, the tolls end up being a lot more due to double-dipping!

Anyway, I get a ticket, and I immediately look for a URL to pay (right after I curse). First blunder, it is nowhere to be seen. It just talks about sending in checks and such. Ugh. Luckily, on the back of the envelope rather than the ticket, there is a link to bouldercolorado.gov which does indeed have a way to pay online.

This is what you see when you get there:

Getting started with ticket paying

Notice the lovely contrast on the buttons with text and background.

After putting in my license info I get the following:

Holy checkboxes batman!

Wooah, this is just a subset of the pages of information on tickets to pay! Oh, I should have said, this is a rental car :)

It appears that people don’t pay for any kind of fines on rental cars. There was over $10k on this puppy. I want to do the right thing though, so I hunt for my issue to pay it. You can see all of the checkboxes though right? Oh, there isn’t a “deselect all” option, so I jump on the TAB + SPACE routine… singing a song to keep the rhythm up. After manually deselecting hundreds of these things. I reselect mine, and click on next, only to see:

Pay for them all??

Oh man. I have to pay $6k for the issues that are “over due”. I don’t think so Sherlock!

After all that, I guess it is time to go manual :(

What would I have loved to see?

  • After entering the ticket number and license plate information, “do you just want to pay for this one? or the other 10000?”
  • A de-select all
  • Buttons where the text color and background color aren’t the same

Other Frustrating User Experiences

3 Responses to “Frustrating User Experiences: Boulder Parking Tickets”

  1. Andrew Dupont Says:

    Yeah, you stumbled upon what we in the business refer to as an “edge case” — but what whoever built this app obviously doesn’t have a term for.

  2. Duckie Says:

    Alt + Space? Humming? What about launching firebug and writing a simple for loop ;)

  3. Katterine Says:

    Frustrating indeed. What about these ten motorists including my friend who got fined $64 in one hour! So much for the beautiful California State Beaches!

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