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Photo by Kevin Dellandrea on Unsplash

Ironhack’s Prework : Dahyun FIDEL - Challenge 1 : Design Thinking

My first Ironhack challenge 💪 consists in designing a new feature for UrbanGo using Design Thinking process.

UrbanGo ?

UrbanGo is a public transit and mapping startup. Their goal is to help users to reach their destination easily.

UrbanGo application is available for many big cities in the world (Paris, London, Berlin, New York, Seoul …). The user enters the start and end point and the app calculates route options, including all urban modes of transport, even walking, cycling and driving. The search result indicates : transport means, time, cost for each option. The users just have to choose one of the solutions proposed and follow it !

The application facilitates user’s life by helping him to find the best way to go where he wants to go. However, once the user knows how to go to a point, he still must face another problem : to buy tickets 🎫 .

Main problems found during interview

I interviewed 5 people 👱🏻‍♂️👨🏻‍🦲👱🏻‍♀️👩🏻‍🦰👨🏻

  • Between 25 and 35 years old, from Paris or Marseille, intramural or suburbs
  • All of them use public transports daily or often
  • All of them already have travelled in European big cities, and some of them in other countries of the world
  • Most of them know very well public transport applications : Citymapper and RATP

I have questioned them about their transport use and the experience of buying tickets.

  • Do you use public transport ?
  • Have you already used public transport while travelling abroad or in a city you don’t know well ?
  • What public transport did you use ? 🚕 🚌 🚎 🚃
  • When you arrive in the train station / airport, how do you manage to go to your destination ?
  • How do you buy the tickets ? Was it easy ?

The 5 interviewed users were all different :

  • Some of them are very organized (everything is studied and prepared before the trip)
  • Some of them travel with other people very organized ;)
  • Some of them ask local people to find the way to go to their destination
  • Some of them prefer to use kiosk / website to find information and buy tickets

Despite their difference, several main issues are reported by most of interviewed users. The difficulties they have encountered mainly happen while travelling abroad, in a city they do not live in. Hereunder the main issues reported :

  • In some countries, it is not possible to buy tickets with bank card, so it is necessary to get local currency first 💴 💶 💷
  • Sometimes, the understanding/communication can be difficult, due to language barrier 💬
  • The kiosk / website interface is not always intuitive, so it’s necessary to ask help.
  • Sometime it is complicated to understand what type of ticket to buy according to destination : zone delimitation, means of transport …
  • For business trip, they must keep a receipt 🧾, but when they use Uber, the receipt is not automatically generated, so they must claim it to the customer service.

The main issue I’m trying to solve

After analyze of different insights obtained with the feedback, I realized that the main issue that I’m trying to solve is the whole process of buying ticket itself ! The experience is very different from one destination to another : sometime the problem is the payment method, some other time the problem is the interface ergonomics, some other the language … What if we could simply by-pass ❌ this step of buying ticket ?

How I plan to solve the problem

To solve this problem of buying the transport ticket, the solution I propose is to make this buying step disappear. The smartphone becomes the tickets, and the user is debited according to their use. In this way :

  • The user registers the payment method (bank card) from which he is debited. No need to prepare local currency in advance.
  • The application is all tickets in one device. No need to try to understand each different interface ergonomics.
  • No barrier of language, as the application is translated in English and French (and other languages).

What solutions ?

  • Solution 1 : like Uber
    The user registers the payment method once in the application. For each itinerary, the user can “buy” corresponding tickets by a simple click. The user is debited for each purchase. The ticket is “used” when the user scans his phone to get through the gate (like Pass Navigo).
  • Solution 2 : like South Korean credit card
    The user registers the payment method once in the application. For each itinerary, the user does not need to select the tickets to buy. But each time the application will be scanned to get through a gate, the use will be registered in the user history. Then the user will be debited of total expense at the end of each month.
  • Solution 3 : like Pumpkin/Lydia
    The user pays a certain amount of credit, available in his “wallet”. Each time the application will be scanned to get through a gate, the corresponding ticket amount will be debited from his “wallet”. And the user can also register a payment method once in the application, and credit his wallet with few clicks.

My paper prototype design (solution 3)

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What I learned throughout the process

The user interview part was very interesting and surprised me for 2 reasons :

  • It is quite complicated to bring users to talk about a specific paint point that interest us, while trying to not be too bounded with a view to let them express their point of view.
  • It’s really surprising to discover how each person can think differently, and interviewing multiple users can give you idea that you didn’t have in mind.

I also really liked to prototype idea on paper 📝(even if it hurts my hand as I’m not used to handwrite anymore). It enables to write down ideas quite quickly, without trying to be perfect. And we can erase easily and re-do if necessary.

Thank you for reading 😀

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