Digital Driving License in Singpass app

Challenge

How might we roll out a digital driving license to effectively replace the physical one?

responsibilities

systems design

product design

visual design

ux design

prototyping

collaborators

1 x Design Lead

1 x UX researcher

1 x Product Manager

4 x Engineers

2 x External stakeholders

timeline

September 2020 - November 2020

(3 months)

About

My team and I worked closely with the Singapore Police Force’s Traffic Police to launch the digital driving license in the Singpass app.

This is an initiative that started in 2019 by the Ministry of Home Affairs as part of Singapore's Smart Nation efforts and push for digitalization. The digital driving license is now an official identification document for drivers in Singapore.

Impact

The digital driving license officially launched on the Singpass app in March 2022.

You can read about the official launch by the Singapore Police Force here and news coverage by CNA here.

Additionally, I leveraged learnings from this project to create a set of standardized guidelines/templates to facilitate onboarding of other government-issued cards. You can read about it here.

Features

Official proof of driving qualification(s)

The digital driving license is an alternative official form of document that one can use to prove one’s qualifications in operating different types of motor vehicles in Singapore.

More details than the physical card

Leveraging the new affordances that digital medium has, the digital driving license now shows information in real-time. Information includes one’s driving status, certificate of merit, and demerit points.

All cards share the same layout

All cards in the Singpass app share similar card layouts. This not only makes information easy to find, but it is also a bonus to users’ trust of the app.

Control of information

Users control when they want to share their information. Personal information are placed behind security walls and can only be accessed through passcodes. Additionally, not all personal information is displayed immediately, which gives users an additional layer of privacy.

Trust & legitimacy

The use of the animated holographic lion head crest and background pattern prevents screenshots and tampering.

Considerations

User cases

Through research, my team and I learned about many use cases beyond the immediate “proof that one is legally allowed to drive”.

Some use cases include personal viewing and referencing of information, proof of authorization to drive by officials (traffic police) and organizations (rental car services), and alternative proof of identification (in place of the ID).

Ecosystem

I had to understand what each of the 6 different statuses (active, suspended, disqualified, expired, invalid, revoked) mean, conditions and reasons for when each status would happen.

Sensitivity of data / Public perception

This app is a gateway to lot of one's personal information, which can be overwhelming and daunting. Great care has to be given to how information is displayed and how permissions are structured.

Leveraging the digital medium

As the card moves from a physical to a digital medium, how can leverage the affordances of this new digital medium to provide more value for users?

Process

Gathering requirements of a digital driving license

I, together with my research lead and design lead, had discussions with Traffic Police to understand requirements and constraints around what is expected of a digital driving license.

Desk research + brain dump

My team and I quickly learned that the role of a driving license goes beyond a certificate that shows one’s qualifications to operate motor vehicles. Through desk research, I mapped out as many scenarios that a driving license can be used or misused, and new potential use cases (because it’ll be moved into a digital medium). This mapping served as a guide to know how things might relate to one another, and to know what gaps in knowledge I need to pursue in the next stage of research.

Sacrificial concepts

The stakes of rolling out a digital driving license is relatively high and the team did not want to overlook any gaps in the role that this card might play out in the world.

I build two sets of prototypes, each of them to respectively validate

  1. What does the interaction between a Traffic Police officer and a driver who got pulled over typically look like?
  2. What and how will citizens typically use their driving license?

Interviews

Using the sacrificial concepts created, I worked closely with UX researchers to conduct interviews with people/parties to understand how they use driving licenses and how moving driving license into a digital medium might positively or negatively affect them.

Interviews were conducted with 3 different groups of people using 3 different methods

  • Semi-structured user interviews with businesses
  • Role-playing interviews with Traffic Police officers
  • Interviews with prototypes with ride share drivers

Semi-structured interviews with businesses.

Role-playing interview with Traffic Police officers.

User interviews with ride share drivers.

Visual Design of card

I created a pattern background that the card will be difficult to duplicate and to spoof.

I picked out and translated elements from the physical card to the digital driving license so that the card is easily recognizable in its digital form. I designed the card to ensure appropriate contrast of at least WCAG 3:1 of text on background and background pattern.

Lastly, I had to choose colors of the card to make sure that the card is clearly what it is on both light mode and dark mode of the app.

Alignment with the Traffic Police ecosystem

I liaised closely with traffic police officers to thoroughly understand when each driving status is assigned and designed to make sure that the visual layout of the card supports these sets of dynamic information that is piped into the app for display.

Engineering handoff

I created comprehensive documentations and liaised closely with 4 engineers and 1 PM to smoothly hand off the specs for the digital driving license feature because all its components and user flows were completely new.