Arrivals

App concept based on TriMet's Transit Tracker

Overview

Background

The transit tracker tool on trimet.org is the most used tool on the website. As a rider myself, I wanted to create a feature-focused app that would leverage TriMet's public transit tracker API.

Problem

Many people rely on transit tracker information and having it accessible via a mobile app would allow TriMet to extend their services and utilitize more of their capabilities especially beyond the browser.

Metrics

8 million pageviews per month
%95
come for transit tracker, trip planner, and alerts
%70
access trimet.org on their phone

Research

Surveys

  • 2019 web surveys
  • 2019 MOD beta feedback
  • 2018 Customer Experience Audit
  • 2017 Trip Tools Survey
  • 2014 focus group SIPs
  • Social media and other rider feedback

Each survey shared the underlying goal which was to help TriMet understand the user's experience and perception around the reliability of our information/service.

Consolidating user feedback, the list below describes the top 10 user wants from current users of our trip tools. Number one being the most asked for feature and ten the least:

What riders want

  1. Real-time vehicle locations on map
  2. Nearby service relative to current location
  3. Save favorites/preferences
  4. R̶e̶a̶l̶-̶t̶i̶m̶e̶ ̶t̶r̶i̶p̶ ̶p̶l̶a̶n̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ (Out of scope)
  5. Better alerts
  6. G̶u̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ ̶n̶a̶v̶i̶g̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ (Out of scope)
  7. Alarms/notifications
  8. Voice command
  9. Hop integration
  10. F̶l̶e̶x̶i̶b̶l̶e̶/̶s̶m̶a̶r̶t̶ ̶i̶t̶i̶n̶e̶r̶a̶r̶i̶e̶s̶ (Out of scope)

Back to the initial ideas of this concept app, I've marked which wants I thought were out of scope as they would be better suited under trip planning features. Again, my goal was to create an app that did a few things really well, however this concept app could scale considering the available data.

The User/Rider

Personas

From our Audience Segmentation Survey Research Report, we generally break each persona in four categories:

Transit-Reliant Persona

Strategic User Persona

Transit Hesitant Persona

Non-Rider Persona

For a deeper dive in to the details of each persona, I will have a private page where I breakdown our method for designing the trimet.org re-architecture.

The persona that would benefit most from this concept app, would be any transit rider with a mobile smart phone.

Flows

Transit tracker

The UX flow of this concept app closely resembles to the trimet.org re-architecture(TORA) project particularly the transit tracker features.

To summarize the process my manager, senior designer and I took: We first considered our constraints to replicate/enhance current features of the website, next we considered what are the best practices in this app market, then I considered the technology it was being built with and how we could optimize for delivering these requirements to engineers.

After a few large iterations, we landed on a flow that found a good balance between complexity and efficiency.

Generalized audit of trimet.org trip tool features.

V1: Low fidelity mockups.

V4: Higher fidelity mockups:

By Stop ID / By Omni-box

After V4 the flow did not change. The entire design process went to V9.

Arrivals

Interactions

Your arrivals and stops upfront

  • Add labels for more context.
  • Toggle your favorite stops and service lines at a stop.

Learn routes, find stops, track vehicles

  • View routes on a map.
  • Drill down to relevant stops.
  • Force refresh stop information.

Toggle and refresh

  • Quickly track vehicles
  • Toggle dark mode for higher contrast, helps with glare.

Conclusion

Takeaways

Improving ridership means improving rider confidence. Simplifying the complicated needs of transit riders was the motivation behind this experimental app. As with many projects the heavy lifting is balancing between complexity and efficiency, managing user expectations, leveraging available data, considering the technologies involved and the available resources to build. Still, that is where the fun is.

Learning more and looking forward, I do see a possible v2 of this project!

Next: More unique features

Tracking a vehicle and it's rider capacity.
Rider onboard a tracked vehicle experience.
Additional stop feature such as stop amenities and rider support.

Enjoy the prototype