Authorities, Bad UX, Digitization

The other day at the business registration or: Digital vs. paper

A few days ago, I founded a new company and had to register a business. A quick search revealed that this should be possible online at But then everything turned out completely different...

02 MIN

I got relatively far in the application section (without any major usability problems) but failed when entering the account holder (see picture below, Nr. 1) - please believe me that I entered the account holder according to the specifications. No idea what was going on there...
Eventually it worked, but the summary showed the very specific error message (see picture below, Nr. 2); of course, I knew immediately what to do... NOT!

1) The account holder must be specified. Valid values: max. length 120 characters; allowed are letters,numbers, and the characters “+ – . , &”;
2) Entry problems, Other document per file attachment missing

The application could not be sent, so I sent an email with a screenshot to the trade office to ask what the error could be. And here it comes: The first mail I received was the one below, telling me that I could expect an answer in about 8 weeks – which made me laugh out loud for the first time.

Dear Sir or Madam, We hereby confirm receiving your email. It is now being processed, which will take approximately 8 weeks due to the current situation. We therefore kindly ask you to refrain from any further inquiries. <br>Yours sincerely, Fachamt Verbraucherschutz, Gewerbe und Umwelt – Gewerberegister –

After all, 10 minutes later a second mail actually came from a section head (!) saying: “Dear Mr. Bosenick, better download the registration form from the office’s website, fill it out, scan your ID and send it to the above postal address. Regards…” That made me laugh the second time and also cry a little. So much for the authorities’ digitalization strategy.


Tim Bosenik

Tim gründete SirValUse im Jahr 2000 und war Mitbegründer von nurago im Jahr 2005 und USEEDS im Jahr 2008. Als "Dinosaurier" in der UX-Branche konzentriert er sich auf die organisatorische Umsetzung von UX in Unternehmen und auf die Verbesserung der Mitarbeitererfahrung im digitalen Zeitalter.

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