Public Transport Victoria: App for iOS | A UX Case Study

Conceptualising new features

Challenge:

As a team of 4 UX Designers we were tasked with conceptualising new features for the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) app for iOS during a 2 week design sprint. The app needed to include the ability to better support multi-modal travel, promote walking and cycling and promote ticketing information and purchase.

Deliverables:

  • Competitor/business analysis findings
  • User research findings as personas, customer journey maps and supporting narrative
  • Commentary and supporting documentation on ideation and iterative design process including: 
    - sketches and proof of ideation process
    - proof of design iterations
  • Project presentation
  • Interactive digital prototype

Discovery:

We conducted a survey from which we had 130 responses in conjunction with one on one interviews and usability tests of the current PTV app with 8 people. This gave us valuable quantitative and qualitative data about how people interpret the current PTV app and user behaviour in relation to travel and transportation.

After creating an affinity map we were able to synthesise our data where we found common patterns and themes emerging. The insights we gained were the product of multiple rounds of analysing and synthesising this data.

Key insights:

  • The dominant use case for the current PTV app is with people wanting to plan a journey.
  • Users want more accurate information around times and disruptions within the PTV app.
  • 82% of survey respondents said they use Google Maps or Apple Maps to plan a journey.
  • 75% of survey respondents said they would consider cycling as a mode of transport.
  • Strong patterns emerged around the topics of road safety, health and weather when discussing cycling as a mode of transport.

Competitor Analysis:

Direct Competitors: NYC Subway, Opal Travel, BvG

  • Don’t offer specific routes for walking & cycling
  • Allows the user to plan journeys
  • Offer map features of varying functionality
  • Language is direct (eg. ‘Select destination’)

Indirect Competitors: Google Maps, City Mapper, TripGo

  • Do offer specific routes for walking & cycling
  • Allows the user to plan journeys
  • Offers real time map feature
  • Language is personable (eg. ‘Where do you want to go?’)

Problem Statement:

“How might we make it easier for people to travel?”

Feature Prioritisation:

Using a 2x2 matrix of High Impact, Low Impact, Unexpected and Expected axes enabled us to quickly determine the user expectations vs the impact created by the feature. Each quadrant gave us a good indication of what features we needed to prioritise immediately and which features we would leave out and perhaps revisit at a later date.

Ideation:

We worked on rapid ideation sketching exercises and a design studio session where we voted on various features for the user interface and user flow based on the requirements of the brief and the results from our feature prioritisation.

Prototyping and Usability Testing:

Once we were happy with the outcomes of our ideation process and direction we began testing the usability of our paper prototypes. We went through multiple rounds of usability testing and iterations to the paper prototype before we began wireframing using Figma, this enabled us to proceed confidently and quickly with the digital prototype.

Findings and Iterations:

  • Need a clearer way to filter the route options (eg fastest route).
    - We added a way to filter the routes and included various options for cycling to offer an alternative ‘safest route’ for directions that would highlight designated off street bike paths.
  • Users were confused by the initial home screen being the ‘journey planner’ and location map.
    - We implemented a home screen with launch buttons to the main use cases, which were ‘Journey Planner’ and ‘Myki’.
  • Too much emphasis on the weather.
    - The weather was moved to a revolving information bar at the footer that included updates for health tracking and motivation.
  • A back button should be included so users don’t have to navigate back through the menu.
    - A back button was incorporated on each screen.

Solution statement:

By providing an app which informs people of healthier alternative routes, offers information about safety, weather issues and disruptions we will make it easier for users to plan a journey and encourage more active travel choices.

Interactive Prototype:

View the interactive digital prototype of the app for iOS here:

Prototype created using Figma.

Next Steps:

For future development of the app we would like to suggest implementing:

  • Accessibility: wheelchair accessible routes that also give accurate information in regards to travel time.
  • Integration with other iOS apps such as the health and weather apps.
  • Push notifications for:
    - disruptions on favourite or saved routes
    - weather forecasts with positive messaging aimed at incorporating walking or cycling into a route if the forecast is clear
    - health updates with encouragement toward walking or cycling

Learnings:

My key learnings from this project were:

  • Keep revisiting the brief and personas to make sure the design is meeting the requirements and needs of the user.
  • Continue to regularly test, iterate, test, iterate!


Hello!

I’m Laura,
a multi-disciplined designer with a focus on UX and UI design, currently calling Melbourne, Australia home. With 8 years’ experience I have worked across a range of industries with each new brief challenging my creative approach and thinking in an exciting and unique way.