Rethinking Citymapper UX/UI design

Citymapper’s logo and visual

Citymapper is a public transportation app and mapping service that displays transportation options, usually with live schedules, between any two locations. It integrates data for all modes of urban transportation, including walking, biking, and driving, in addition to public transportation, but also private transportation like Uber or Lime.

The goal of the first challenge today is to solve the efficiency problem of having to purchase different public transport tickets by different channels.

The best way to understand the user’s problem in depth and to be able to solve it or even anticipate their expectations is to show empathy and therefore to put yourself in their shoes.

But who are the different types of transit users today, how many are already using apps to get around? What do they want? And what do they need?

In order to have a complete panel of users, I interviewed 6 people from 25 to 68 years old, some are frequent travelers, others not, some are already using Citymapper, others are not frequent users of the technology.

users interview

Here is an little overview of the different questions I was able to ask and here are the observations I was able to gather from them:

  1. Transit tiketing is stressfull. Each city has different systems and complex options. Paper tickets, reloads, QR codes. Vending machines are also complicated or not working sometimes. Pricing are complex. Even city residents don’t know how things work or how much they cost.
  2. They prefer to get human contact at the counter to get information and purchasing tickets specially when they are in a city they don’t know
  3. All the people interviewed would prefer to have a single pass with all the tickets.
  4. Users want to get from A to B. They care mostly about time and price, and don’t necessarily always care how.
Subway photo

CityMapper has solved many issues of urban mobility. But there is one remaining pain point for users: purchasing different public transportation tickets through different channels.
Integrating a ticketing and payment process can help users have a complete experience.

For this new feature there will be 2 customer paths:

The first one:
The user knows where to go, he chooses his departure and arrival point, if it’s a one way or a round trip and buys his ticket.
If on the way he realizes that he will need more than a round trip he can choose just before buying a pass.

Second:
The user does not know exactly where he is going, but knows that he will need transportation for a day, a weekend, a week or more. He will be able to choose a pass directly from the homepage.

All tickets and/or passes can be found on the tickets/pass page at the bottom of the application.
The tickets will be in the form of a QR code and will be supported by a tutorial.

What I’ve learned ?

Knowing the application well but also and especially its users: habits, needs, desires is essential to the development of a good UX design strategy. That’s why the interview really helped me to think about improvements.

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