Case study//City Bus App.

Hello everybody, my name is Ilona, I am currently studying UX design. Just so you know, I have no design experience and everything I do here is extremely new to me, so I would love to hear any feedback from you guys.
So our first assignment was to create a user-friendly bus app to help users navigate their way to the bus stop as well as provide arrival / departure time information.
So welcome to my very first case study :)

The problem
The network of public buses, which is located in the Midwest decided to expend their network and added new lines.
Transit officials have identified a problem that they want to solve. Due to expansion, numerous bus routes have been recently added. Many of those routes stop at the same bus stop. Before the new routes were added, riders could simply rush to the stop when they saw a bus coming — but that doesn’t work anymore, since it might be not their bus.
Riders are currently complaining the most about the bus stop at Washington and State, which is served by seven bus lines.

The solution
Design a very simple user-friendly application, that allows users to track the arrival time of the bus and see where exactly it will arrive. This will help users to use their time more productive and will help them to navigate between bus lines more accurate, so they — won’t miss the bus. Notifications will provide extra “safety” for users, by informing them how far their bus is.

To better understand the problem and determine who our users are, I conducted interviews and online research, which led to primary and secondary personas. (I’m gonna post only primary persona to save some space)

As we can see here, our future user is extremely unhappy with the current bus service, but since there is no way for him to fix this, at least he would like to be better informed about the changes in the service status so that he can adjust his schedule accordingly.

Problem statement:

The expansion of the public city bus system has led to user confusion and uncertainty. Users need real-time information about bus schedules and any service alerts.

Goal:
1. Develop a mobile app with real-time bus arrivals and departures.
2. Provide clarity on bus options, arrival times and routes, and important bus lines (if any available) at each bus station.

So since the application I am working on is not quite unique, and we have plenty of choice on the market, it would be really smart to analyze main competitor first. So I decided to start with Google Maps and Transit. Both are my favorites, and super often in use. Both of these apps are easy to use and both of them work by same principal: they use your current location to provide real-time arrival information for nearby public transportation. If you need a route, they can create the route for you. You can’t go wrong with either of these apps: both work in most major cities and provide real-time arrival information.

However, there is a significant difference between them. For example if I am walking and just need to know the direction to my destination, I will always use Google Maps as they provide real street views, which is very useful if you don’t know the exact address but do know how the building looks like. Also, Google Maps shows almost everything that surrounds you (bars, beauty salons, gas stations, etc.). However, the Transit app only indicates public transportation around you, which is helpful as you will not be distracted and will find information about the bus / train arrival faster. Also, as a New Yorker, I use trains more often than buses, and no app will give you more accurate train arrival information than Transit only by using your location and not asking for any additional info. 5 stars Transit, very very helpful.

As a result, we see that Transit provides public transport details much better than Google maps. Also, it doesn’t ask you for a lot of additional information in order to provide you with Bus/Trains/Trams etc arrival/departure time like Google maps do. This is a really useful feature because sometimes you just need to see which bus or train is arriving now and change your destination based on that. Thus, apart from public transport, you will get nothing else from Transit, but Google maps will inform you about almost everything that is around.
So, as a user, I keep using both of these great apps, it all depends on what I’m doing, walking, running, taking bus / train, or driving.

To meet user expectations, we need to know what their pain points are. And to find out that I did a user survey. It was attended by 30 people from different parts of the city. My survey consisted of two parts: demographic questions such as age, location and employment status, the second part of the questions was more specific about how my participants collect information about public transportation and whether they use applications, what features they use most and their general experience with applications.
According to the survey, 65% of the participants use various mobile applications for public transport on schedule. The main reason for using it is to check the arrival / departure times of the bus.
However, at the same time, more than 85% of users complain that the application is inconvenient and it took them a while to figure out how to use it. Inaccurate information was also the most common problem. As a result, users do not trust the application and the usability is lower than it should be.
In addition, some users were not satisfied with the fact that the application asks for a lot of information in order to provide such a simple function as the bus arrival time.

Thus, in the end, we see that 20 out of 30 people use the mobile transport application for information, but are completely unhappy with the service and do not recommend the application to anyone.

So it’s very obvious that we need to improve the following:
Design (keep it simple and user friendly); The amount of information requested; Accuracy of the information we provide to our users.

User Flow.

To create the user flow for my App I used Whimsical, and Oh my God I enjoyed it so much, application is very easy to use and provides you with everything you might need, and the most important part its Free! So if you are student as myself, go ahead and check it out.

It’s time to work on the Wireframe Sketches. For this part and for the rest of my case study, I used Figma. I’m pretty sure no one needs to hear that this is one of the best apps for design, it’s like New York bagels, you just know that they’re the best :)

LO-FI PROTOTYPE
This prototype, created in Figma, was created to test the flow and functionality of the application.

After we reviewed our usability test and fixed what needed to be fixed, it was time to start Branding.

Solution.

on.Track is a city bus app that provides real-time detailed bus route information according to your travel needs.
Route recommendations are filtered by your requested information or simply by your location.
I provided our user with a quick way to get updates on bus arrival time and service status, and also provided a function that helps our users find their way to the nearest bus stop.
My main idea was to create a very easy to use application, with user -friendly design and features.
The next step for my brand new app will be a real-life usability test, and I hope my idea will help users stay on time and feel comfortable using public transport.

Thank you guys for reading, or maybe just scrolling. Would love to hear back from some of you, who happened to finish this long read.

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