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At the Station

TripView 

Redesigning the TripView app - Case Study

Project overview

Public Transport commuters have traditionally used TripView because of its capacity to provide real-time data into scheduling, delays and traffic congestion on the Train, Bus and Ferry services.

But what happens when there is a modified, delayed or cancelled service?  How can we help commuters save time and stay on schedule? 

Although TripView claims to have responded to customer’s needs and improved their transport by providing real-time information about scheduling, delays and traffic congestion, our data shows that a majority of our users spend very little time on the TripView app and said that it did little value to their experience. 

The Problem

The TripView app loses the love of users, due to a myriad of reasons. Alongside with the competition and cost, the following factors are a few reasons for these difficulties: 

1. Limited range of functionality 

2. Lack of relevant content (Users need to jump between different applications) 

3. Life-changing event (moving)

The Goal

- To build incentives among the sea of Travel apps, many of which are free

- To help public transport commuters be on schedule for the events that take place in their life 

- To help them retain their long-term loyalty

Main Objective

Instead of overhauling the existing TripView app, I will start by adding a subtle and useful feature to the timetable page. 

This will enable the user to receive notifications at opportune moments throughout a busy day; at breakfast, morning commute, before a meeting or before the peak hour rush. 

These subtle and useful notifications will assist the user to open the TripView app and access relevant scheduled time and alternative routes. 

Topic Research

Talking to Customers 

In order to understand this persona a bit more, I spoke to Public Transport commuters who varied in age, location and Job Industry. I researched the habits of these young people, hence I could fit into their life instead of just urging the app. By doing this, I could also capture how they were using the TripView app, and what value they got from it. 

Target use and market 
I have set a boundary to design a simple solution and have interpreted possible outcomes suitable for the user.
 Scope

User: People ageing 25-44 years old are tech savvy and use Google calendar to help with scheduling their life. 

Potential User Interviews  
I have selected 20 young people to be surveyed, here are some of the key notes directly from users: 

[We need] correct, relative information as to which platform to head to, what other form of alternative routes/transport type is available when a service has been delayed or cancelled. What other transit line can I take from a glance instead of having to perform multiple searches. I just want to get home and not to worry if i'm going to be late or stranded. - Common response from an internal survey. 

Other feedback were: 

1. A big feature request was the ability to see other forms of transit alternatives when there is a delayed or cancelled service. I shouldn't have to go looking for it. Other navigation apps like Google offer several route options which take you to the same destination. 

2. I want to be able to search within close proximity to where I am going for example, the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. The current OS only allows you to search by Station, Route, Suburb, Stop and Wharf. I would need to do my own research and find a street name or nearby location before I can get any result. 

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 Design Principles 

After the research and user interviews, I have came up with a set of design principles. I wanted to maintain the direct relationship between the interview results and user interface design. 

 1. Seamless Integration

Each user has a unique schedule and habit. The experience has seamlessly integrated into their daily program without any complicated steps. 

 2. Simple

The intact background of this app is simple to use. The users need not learn a new pattern. 

3. Polite

The design should be beneficial and accessible to the user. There should be no insignificant disturbances with many notifications. 

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Starting with Questions...

I created a list of 'How Might We... questions to help us better align our user's task and goals

1. How Might We... provide an experience that is engaging and valuable to our users? 

2. How Might We... allow them to access relative information through their mobile devices? 

3. How Might We... provide a tailored experience that allows commuters to see what's most important to them?

The MVP 

To validate these findings, I designed a simple overview of the user's search functionality, added a couple features and removed some information. 

After producing an interactive prototype to a smaller set of actual users, I started to see a difference immediately and users have expressed the usefulness of these additions. 

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Iterate, Iterate, Iterate... 

Based on all of the findings, I narrowed down the 3 focus areas for potential improvement of the TripView app. 

1. Improve the real-time data that's available to consumers 

2. Improved search functionality

3. Improve notifications and alert messaging 

Improve the real-time data that's available to consumers 
I learned that a majority of commuters want more information on selected routes each day, in the event that there is a delayed or cancelled service. I wanted to display the data in a more visual way for it to be better digested and appealing, keeping in mind of technical constraints.
Improved search functionality
I thought of a few ways to help guide and enhance the experience by visually suggesting different transit routes in real-time, especially when there is a delayed or cancelled service. 
Improve notifications and alert messaging 
How can I alert users that there will be a delayed service ahead of time? How can I inform users that another platform is also departing for Strathfield Station, which requires less walking and transiting time? 
Conclusion

Based on the interviews with participants and researchers, I have devised a definite pattern. It symbolises the young people to use the app if it fits into their lifestyle and schedule. 

What can I do better? 
- Do further in-depth research about features and results of competitors like Google Maps  
- Usability test with the low-fidelity prototype with end users
-  Select a wider range of participants from interstate and intrastate to see how I can change this nation wide 
My Learnings 
This project gives me a deeper understanding how difficult it is to introduce a small subtle feature into a reputed company. The touch points I need to consider before changing a small button on a screen.  
That I have enhanced myself in understanding the broad spectrum of design, thinking about the limitations and asking the right questions. 

UX/UI Designer in Sydney, Australia. 

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