Transit visitors of San Juan Transit Hub encounter large data displays that aid them in making travel decisions. The design of these data displays needs to support the context of crowded, busy transit hubs. The business has a lot of gain from successfully getting people through the hub to their destination for returned, frequent business.
How can we build an experience at San Juan that allows our visitors to make quick travel decisions while also prioritizing business goals?
Tools and Methods
Information Architecture, UI Design, Guerrilla User Testing, Business Strategy
Mika Gu, Arlex Guo
Destination Targeted Informational Display
The solution we built is a three panel display that allows our user, at a glance, understand the state of current transit, make decisions, and view alternatives. We leveraged icons, colors, and maps to quickly allowing users to build a mental model that can support understanding and decision making.
#1 Pre-packaged itineraries reduction of missed connections and identifying alternative routes
#2 Increased adoption of PTF loyalty pass by surfacing its benefits prominently
#3 Supporting quick filtering and decision making allows for quick planning for travelers
Understanding Business Needs & User Pain Points
Our initial research efforts included understanding stakeholder and user needs from the data we were given. In terms of stakeholder needs, we wanted to identify the features that was going to create value for the business. Next, we wanted to understand user's goals and motivations. We built personas around stakeholder briefs we were given and synthesized key insights from them.
From our personas we were able to identify key goals for the informational data display.
Provide alternatives to visitors of the transit hub. When viewing the display, users needs to be able to quickly identify and choose alternatives modes of travel to any destination.
Plan travel itineraries for travel between multiple destinations. Many visitors of the Hub are locals who regularly travel between the many islands, harbors, and mainland destinations - these travelers need to make multiple destination trips decisions from the Hub.
Increase loyalty to support frequent return visits. The business has a lot of gain from loyal, frequent travelers; getting them exposed and invested in the PTF passes ensure return visits and easier travel for customers.
Unpacking our Data
To create a consistent understanding for the information within our team we began modeling the information. We diagrammed the data to identify relationships, correlations, and dependencies. We were able to identify valuable relationships and dependencies in our travel data through visual diagrams!
IDEATION & WIREFRAMING
Low Fidelity Wireframes
In our first phase of designing, we were set on testing different layouts and visual components to get quick feedback and inform user’s mental models. The concepts we wanted to test centered around: portrait vs. landscape layout, maps, connections between destinations, multiple trips, turn vs one way, and different modes of transits.
We then used our initial set of designs to start user testing and getting feedback early. This allowed my team to quickly improve and refine our designs without wasting time on visual polish.
Data analysis Part 2
Uncovering Patterns & Dependencies
In an effort to map out the transit routes, our data reveal dependencies within the travel information. We learned that certain flights, trains, & ferries were only available within specific time frames or to specific destinations! With this information we were able to start sectioning off data based on location and transportation method, this allowed us to present information is relevant and digestible chunks.
Key Insight from User Testing
Context is Key
A crucial insight we gained from the initial iteration was that the screens needed to be more considerate of the context of the traveler. A traveler is usually distracted, tried, and busy. How can we design the display to fit into the context of the traveler's environment and state of mind?
Refine and Iterating
Applying Insights from Testing
Card Based Itineraries
We developed the card based design to help the user easily be able to identify a pre-planned trip. Each card functions as a bundled trip and the user does not have to figure out connections routes or timings between stops.
Location based filtering
A key part in making this travel display work was figuring out the best way to filter the information. We found through numerous user tests that the map was the best way to filter data by. We found that users really like have a visual map - it was a great way for people to quickly identify relevant information. Users found maps to be a quick way to filter and find relevant information.
Destination Targeted Display
Our solution brought together both the needs of the user and the goals of the business. We were ables to leverage the feedback we got early on in the process to inform key aspects of our designs. The feedback helped us uncover the importance of pre-packed itineraries, the important of quickly allowed the user to filter and find relevant information, and how exposing the PTF passes peaks people’s interest in obtaining the pass.
Balancing Business & User Needs
This project was a great learning experience for my team and I to understand the importance of balancing business and user needs. As ux designers we are advocates of the user needs and goals, and our tool is to uncover user pain points and instilling those needs into the product and the businesses. Working on this project helped me learn the importance of taking the time to understand business needs. Understanding the goals of the business and what they are trying to achieve is integral to pushing the needs of the user in many ways. The product that we as designs believe is going to help users, can not exist if the business doesn’t. As designers, we need to learn to balance both the business and the user needs; putting one over the other doesn’t help a product be successful or usable.