Maryland DNR License Portal - Discovery Journey, Web Framework

Jun - Jul 2021, Lead Designer, Government Project

Ease the journey of obtaining hunting/fishing licenses with intuitive, streamlined navigation and useful, scannable content.


New portal saves users 50% footprint on discovery and improves ease of use proven by user testing.

Product strategy (eCommerce), 3 UI pages (mobile, desktop), UX, content, branding, web framework, design system.

Core Memeber - Design Lead, Director of Product(PM); Support - UXR, Eng, Project Assistant, Business Analyst, Visual Designer.

Project Challenges
New domain to learn, ambiguous scope, define web framework before shape solution.


●   Discover Understand Product
User Journey & Problems
●   Define Clarify Scope & Product Area
Shape UI/UX Solution
Convince CEO
●   Develop Build Prototypes
Negotiate Trade-offs
User Testing
Iterate with Feedback
●   Deliver UI, UX, Content, Branding, Design System ●   8 Weeks to Deliver Designs

Maryland Department of Natural Resources provides various services on their online portal -DNR Compass including recreational licenses, permits and stamps; off-road vehicle registrations, magazine subscriptions, and donation.

As people get used to easy-to-use eCommerce experience when purchase online, this text-heavy outdated portal no longer meets users' needs. Our goal is to build a more intuitive and streamlined experiences so users can discover product and complete tasks easily.

User Journey

We interviewed 10 users who purchased hunting licenses on current DNR portal within a year to learn about 4 pain points users have within the journey.

P1 - Login on homepage makes informaion and portal not accessible
P2 - Disconnected navigation makes users go back and forth between pages
P3 - Lack of informaiton requires users additional time on research
P4 - Lack of guidance on verifying certificate and purchase prerequisite

Define Scope

To clarify scope for discovery, I first aligned with team on tasks to focus.

"Where to build features" was still unclear which blocked discussion. To address blocker, I built the "baseline" which echos user needs on eCommerce experience. Baseline could be the starting point to drive research, inspire ideas, facilitate discussion, and shape solution.

Shape Solution

Homepage - Show products before login to make information accessible and ease the discovery

When built homepage mockup, I learned that login can impact price display, and this finding drove more research. From competitor research, I cannot find any precedents showing price range before user login, so I eventually turned to client and users to justify this approach.

Category Page - Show product card with useful information and scannable format to ease the discovery

Product Details Page - (1) Provide needed information in the portal to save user time on research

I've guided the team on research to fulfill the content for product details page.

Product Details Page - (2) Add prerequisites and certificate at once to save clicks and navigation

I've led team discussion on different user flow regarding when to verify certificate and add licenses to cart, analyzed pros and cons, and landed on the final decision.

Final Proposal - Streamlined discovery experience users want

Convince Leadership

To pitch our solution and persuade CEO, I've invited relevant stakeholders and mocked up additional concept based on CEO's proposal. By showing 2 concepts to the broader team, I expected to gain more support for my ideas to impact CEO's decision.

And I've successfully pitched our team's idea and changed CEO's mind πŸŽ‰

Negotiate Trade-offs

After getting leadership approval, I've worked with PM, Eng, researcher, and visual designer to update pages and planned for user testing to validate designs.

Changes we made and why?

User Validation
Result & Impact

(1) Save users 50% footprint on product discovery
(2) User testing reached 100% task completion rate, prove the ease of use
(3) Partner team credited on scalable designs


I learned about 2 things from this project:
(1) How to impact leadership decisions through presentation and stakeholders' feedback
(2) How to quickly help team align on one page and clarify ambiguity with baseline concepts

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