Urban mobility up to the next level!

One of the recent UX exercises I have done, has been about this fictional APP, “Urban Go”. This app helps you find the best possible route whenever you want to move around your city by checking your GPS position with all the available public transports.

The main issue for users is the different amount of public transport tickets the users have to purchase and the process of buying these tickets (queues and all). Our user here is a young digital person who lives in an urban area with mid or low income level as they usually move with public transport.

THE RESEARCH

After interviewing a few people who usually take public transports. The main apps they knew where the main competence. The main one is Google maps, they also knew HERE WeGo, and local or regional transport providers like TMB in Barcelona, among others. Many of them felt like they didn’t need the service generally, specially in their usual routines, but they could use that when travelling abroad as tourists, as they were usually lost. The main worries were two:

→Losing the ticket and having no replacement.

→They have special long term tickets when living somewhere that include all transports.

→Long queues when buying tickets at pick hours.

After speaking with most of the people, I came to realise as it is difficult to compete with regional governmental transports, tourist create a gap of opportunity. Informing people of this service when arriving somewhere would be useful for people, as they would feel less lost, more than one affirmed they overpaid a taxi to get somewhere they could have gone with transport. Other things they valued were:

→Paying with digital tickets, like in London, you don’t need a transport card you just put your debit card and you can go in and out.

→Doing less queues.

→Ease when looking for your digital ticket.

→Cheaper prices of transport as the cost of printing would not be there.

A part from these findings we have to consider two other external factors. The level of tech in the city and what would happen if we run out of battery. The first one can be solved by selecting the right pilot cities, and the second one is out of our reach.

THE MAIN PROBLEM

Users tend to feel lost when they are in a new environment, they tend to feel that they are being charged more than locals, and they have too many thing to handle when travelling.

Local users think they don’t need it as their long term bundles or special cards are usually strong materials and they know how to move around the city.

THE SOLUTION

Helping users get tickets and information on how to go to places. The main problem here would be making them feel less lost when looking for transports abroad and offering digital tickets they could store in their phones.

One way to attract more local users would be reaching a deal with the transport authorities to include special tickets and bundles in digital as well. This would also allow for them to have the digital version, and the paper one, in case one were to fail or only digital to reduce waste.

After considering the problem and the interviews my solving process has been brainstorming possible solutions, choosing the best one and putting that into paper. So the solutions were five: paying straight with your card in your Urban Go accounts, creating a UrbanGo membership digital card to bound your debit card, creating some QR code that included all the tickets you purchased or qr codes exchangeable for real tickets, storing all the tickets in your phone wallet once bought through the app, and creating the wallet in UrbanGo.

The customer journey here is once you press buy you get your ticket as one of the prior solutions. Due to the research the best outcome for users, transport authorities and urban go would be the wallet in the app to show them to any inspector or driver, as well as, use them themselves.

As a user the most comfortable would paying straight with your card and not doing anything else, but when having to show your ticket to an inspector it can be tricky and the app would loose their secondary use. So the best outcome would be having a wallet in the APP to get users used to it, then creating a simple buy button next to the routes once you search for them. This makes an easy process with all the information of all the tickets, this way the user feels more empowered too.

CONCLUSION

After this project I thing it is amazing how you can solve small problems in people lives with UX, solving the smallest problem gives people less anxiety, more time and happiness.

Then main issue I faced was during the interviews, you need to be adaptable to every person, some people are very open to interviews, whereas others are no that much. You need to make the best out of it by trying to redirect everyone into the information you need, but without them knowing, as you want the least influenced answer as possible to have clear results.

The second hardest thing for me here has been about trying to find possible solutions, I could only come up with a few, as I personally thought it was an obvious direction. That might imply I cannot see other directions with more solutions, but then again, the simplest solutions are usually the best.

However, it is always a good thing to have second opinions and working in teams for these sort of projects, because other people can always see things you might miss.

So, what do you think? What would be your suggestions to solve this problem? or improvements to my proposed solution?

I hope to hear from you all. Thanks for reading :)

Marc BG

🦹🏻 UX Product Designer