The objective of this project was to design and prototype a unique end-to-end digital interactive product that solves a current core government problem. After researching all the different options our group decided to design a product that tackles public transportation. After defining our issue and discussing the vision for the product, our goal was to create low and high fidelity prototypes. Conduct user research to help design a better product based on user feedback. Learn about and create responsive design for mobile, tablet, and desktop. In the end, all designs and features would adhere to apple human interface guidelines so that designs integrate seamlessly with Apple platforms.
For this project my group and I wanted to tackle the issue of public transportation. We felt like this was a good issue to do as public transportation can be unreliable So we created On Time Transit. On Time Transit is a public transportation app that shows users nearby RTD stops, lets them plan a trip, gives live updates while on route and has other features like wallet and share status, to ensure your trip is efficient and safe.
Katie Oberlag (Myself)
I was in charge of creating the nearby stops feature for our design. This feature allows users to see the public transportation stops nearest them for both light rail and bus. This feature also allows users to see when the next bus or light rail will get to a given stop in real time allowing users who don’t need to plan a trip, see when public transportation gets to their usual stop. I also had shared responsibilities with everyone else to conduct user research and project planning.
Erin Chang – https://erinchang.myportfolio.com/
Erin was in charge of the profile feature. This feature lets users create a profile so that everything they would need for an efficient trip on transportation could all be accessed in the app on the users phone. This would include regular destinations and a wallet feature with users transportation pass or ticket.
Luis Hernandez – https://luishernandez.design/
Luis was in charge of the Share Status feature. This is where you can send your current location and trip updates to your chosen contacts to ensure safety. He was also in charge of personas.
Maria Maddocks – https://www.mariamaddocks.com/
Aldo Ruiz – https://aldoruizportfolio.wordpress.com/
Maria and Aldo were both in charge of the plan your trip/directions feature. This feature allows users to input a final destination. Then based on the users current location the app would give them directions to get to their final destination using public transportation in a reliable and easy to use manner.
User Research Synthesis
Our research objective was to gain a better understanding of the wants and needs of a public transportation app through the eyes of the user. We wanted to understand why they would use the app and what we could do to make our app solution easier and more efficient to use over other transportation apps. Our goal was to make our solution more user friendly based on user feedback.
For our user research we conducted five interviews with people who use public transportation often. We made sure that each person we interviewed took public transportation at least once a week because they have an understanding of how public transportation functions. So they would be able to shed light on problems they face when using public transportation. They could also give insight into other transportation apps they have tried and what they disliked and liked about competitors apps.
From these interviews we learned some important information to help guide our designs. The quantitative insights we discovered were…
- On average, users use public transportation 5 days a week.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not safe and 10 being super safe, how safe do they feel on public transportation? The average answer was 5.5 with 2 out of 5 feeling above average safe and 3 out of 5 below average or not feeling very safe on public transportation.
- 5 out of 5 users all stated that they usually travel alone when on public transportation.
The Qualitative insights we found were…
- The biggest complaint about public transportation was reliability. As stated from an interview “bus arrival is never really consistent, especially with light rail. Public transportation is my primary mode of transportation to and from classes so, when the schedules are unreliable, it can greatly impact my schedule and leave me in unsafe spaces waiting for buses.”
- Users also stated that bus and light rail arrival times on other public transportation apps are often unreliable causing impacts to their schedules.
- When asked if they felt safe, female interviewees tended to say that they felt unsafe on public transportation while males tended to say the opposite. One user quoted “Yes, I am afraid of riding alone and feel unsafe while on public transportation.” On the other hand, another user stated, “At least that’s not a problem for me because I am used to riding alone and I know how to get around the city.” This shows the difference in opinion when it comes to safety on transportation.
- When asked about what could be improved in the public transportation apps available today most said that it would be beneficial if they monitored delays, provided less complex route directions, and provided a reliable schedule.
As stated earlier I was in charge of creating the nearby stop feature of our design. It is an important feature because it is the first thing the user will see. As on the home page the user will be able to see their exact location and all the available stops nearest them. This way if they already know the stop they are going to and just want to know when the next bus or light rail will get to that stop they can easily find that information out by selecting the stop they want to go too. This is a helpful feature for the local user, the user who takes the same transportation route everyday, who does not need to plan their trip or be given directions.
Low Fidelity Designs
Here are the low fidelity wire-frame designs I made for my feature, nearby stops.
High Fidelity Designs
Here are some of the high fidelity designs I made for my feature, nearby stops. These were made with collaboration with other teammate designs, so that all features look like they came from the same designer, when in fact each feature was designed by a different designer.
Prototype Video Presentation
Here is my group’s presentation video, feel free to watch it. In it we talk about the research we conducted, our competitors, the proto-persona we created, the individual features we worked on, and walk through the prototype of our app.
What did I find most challenging about this project?
Since the class for this project was all online, what I found most difficult was the communication of ideas. We were able to meet face to face some days but when the covid-19 stay at home order happened, we no longer could talk in person. We also scheduled group video calls about once a week but even though we did that some still got confused about what they were supposed to create, even if it was went over in the meeting. However, this was not too bad of a problem because in the end everything was clarified and everyone got what they said they would do in a timely manner. Another thing I found difficult was the connecting of everyone’s features in the prototype. We were each assigned to connect our own feature to everyone else’s features but when I went on to test after everyone said they were done, a lot of the buttons were not working properly. I went though and tried to connect everything as best as I could so it was not that big of a problem but it was a little frustrating. In the end, however, I think we worked well as a group and everything came together nicely.
How was your product design affected by your research?
Our product design was affected by our research as we researched what users would want in a transportation app. It also helped us look into what is already out there and the ways these apps fail or succeed. It informed us on what we could do to make the most user friendly and effective design. All features were affected by our research but I think the two that were most influenced by research were the share status feature and the wallet feature. We found out that most are in the middle when it comes to their feelings of safety on public transportation. So we thought that it would be important to add a share status feature so that users who feel unsafe can feel a little safer when commuting. Research also showed us that users would love if all their transportation needs were in one place, like their RTD tickets or passes. So that influenced us to tackle that problem by adding a wallet feature to the users profile. Research is important because if we never did the research we would not have the same app that we created today.
What are your perspectives on responsive design?
I really enjoyed learning about and making responsive design. It is an important aspect in the digital design world today. It is important that your designs look good on any platform and that it be able to work well on multiple devices. I found it fun and interesting to take the design I created for mobile and try to transform it so that it works well on tablet and desktop. It felt kind of like an interesting puzzle. It was fun to learn about how users come in contact and communicate with the information on the different screens.
What was the most valuable lesson I learned?
The most valuable lesson I learned is that a great group can really make the design better and create less stress overall. Everyone in my group did what they said they would do in a timely manner and I really appreciated it. I did not have to go in and try to create something someone said they were going to do but did not. The group I was in worked well together and communicated well. I also learned how to communicate better with my teammates even without face to face interactions. It was interesting not being able to meet in person as a group to work on this project but everyone did a good job keeping up to date through text messages and our almost weekly video calls. Overall, I really enjoyed the dynamic of this group.