The future of public transportation
Case Studies in Interaction Design
Team: Melinda Kuei, Angelica Cupat, Jessica Chow, Rohan K
Role: Research, Ideation, Prototyping
What will public transportation look like in 10 years? Our group began tackling this question by conducting primary and secondary research in order to get a better understanding of the current public transportation system. Instead of re-imagining public transportation completely, we identified problems with the existing system and looked for new and exciting opportunities that would encourage ridership.
In our research, we realized that Seattle was becoming the fastest growing city. Thus, we included tourists in our audience and created an app that combines both tourism and public transportation. Our solution can be used by both tourists and residents as a means to explore the city using public transportation.
Primary and Secondary Research Insights
Primary research (conducted interviews with regular, recreational and non-commuters):
- Public transportation is unreliable. Existing applications do not give accurate times
- Public transportation has a bad reputation of being uncomfortable and dirty. There is also a lack of personal space.
Secondary research (online articles, research papers, existing applications):
- Seattle is currently the fastest growing city
- User experience of existing applications has large room for improvements
During the ideation stage, we started by tackling the problems we felt had the most impact on ridership:
We came up with various solutions ranging from physical to digital. In the end, we decided that an app would be the most versatile solution and had the following functions:
- Create and take journeys with other users via crowdsourcing
- Purchase a universal travel pass that could work between modes of transportation
- Access journey directions to facilitate wayfinding
- Make public transportation more reliable and enjoyable
- Create a more seamless experience
- Leverage Seattle's various transportation modes
- Take advantage of the fact that Seattle is a fast-growing city
We wanted our solution to be useful to both tourists and residents. We recognized that both tourists and residents have the desire to explore the city. Whether it is a tourist who wants to explore the city or a resident planning weekend activities, they both need a solution that would facilitate that need.
- Not good with directions
- Wants to understand the city through the eyes of a local
- Easy way to navigate public transportation systems
- A more personalized navigation tool
- John works for a tech company in Seattle and commutes to work by bus everyday
- Even though he's lived in Seattle for a long time, there are still places he's never been
- Likes sharing experiences
- A platform to share experiences
- Serendipity in his daily travelling experiences