Indy Tracker A mobile application I561 Midterm Project
BY: Aeshvarya Verma Ryan Sukale
Contents Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................................. 3 Definition of the setting and project scope ......................................................................................................... 4 Fieldwork activity and data collected .................................................................................................................. 5 Work/activity models ........................................................................................................................................ 10 Requirements and goals .................................................................................................................................... 16 Conceptual Design ............................................................................................................................................. 19 Page Design and prototypes .............................................................................................................................. 22 High Fidelity Prototypes .................................................................................................................................... 23 User Feedback and Recommendations ............................................................................................................. 25 Appendix A: Fieldwork And Data Collection I .................................................................................................... 29 Appendix B: Informed Consent Form ................................................................................................................ 36 Appendix C: Fieldwork Data Collection II .......................................................................................................... 38 Appendix D: Work Model Diagrams .................................................................................................................. 55 Appendix E: Paper Prototypes ........................................................................................................................... 66 Appendix F: Interactive Prototype Screenshots ................................................................................................ 70
The IndyGo bus service is used extensively by lot of people travelling across the city of Indianapolis. Everyday several commuters use the bus service to travel to and from their homes. The bus services are available daily and in order to facilitate the vast number of commuters, multiple busses are available on each route. The frequency of busses varies across different days of the week and during different times of the day. There are several bus terminals located in different parts of the city. The ones in heavily populated areas have a shelter and many facilities whereas the ones in less populated areas have lesser facilities. The following report describes a phone application that we designed after performing a contextual study of commuters of the IndyGo bus system in order to facilitate their travel experiences. Project Setting and scope To begin with our project, the team first identified the local bus terminals that could be visited in order to gather information. Due to the nature of the project, we chose to conduct a contextual inquiry at several different bus terminals in downtown Indianapolis. Our primary stakeholders were commuters who spent time waiting for busses at the bus terminals. Data Collection The team gathered the essential data for the project in the form of images, audio recordings and video recordings at the different bus terminals. We spent several hours observing what users did when waiting at bus terminals and the way they tried to proceed with their activities. We also collected artifacts such as the bus schedules and made notes on the characteristics of the physical location at which the activity was being observed-‐ the bus terminal. Work Models The team used the data gathered in during the observations in the field to prepare the work models. We structured the data in the following work models, viz. Cultural Model, Sequence Model, Physical Model, Artifact Model, Affinity Diagram in order to cull our requirements from our data. Requirements and Conceptual Design During our project phase, we created the information architecture of the project using IDM and prepared a navigation sequence based upon our inference from the consolidated model diagrams. We also envisioned scenarios where our application could be used to assist the user in determining bus information. Prototyping
We prepared low fidelity prototypes of the application on paper and created several mockup screens that reflected the architecture and navigation sequences that we had conceptualized earlier. Later we prepared high fidelity prototypes of the application using Axure that contained all the screens and relevant sample information. We kept only the information on each screen that would relevant to the task that the user would be performing on that particular screen. User testing We prepared 2 tasks for our users similar to the situations that would provoke the user to use the application. Then we conducted in person interviews with the users and made notes on their feedback of the interface. Our users also made suggestion of the additional features that they would find useful to be present on the application that were outside of the scope of the project. We however made a note of their comments and provide them as suggestions for future enhancements to the application.
Definition of the setting and project scope As the 13th-‐largest city in the U.S., Indianapolis has repeatedly been ranked below 40th in mass transit availability. The undue emphasis on automobile travel in city planning, excessive automobile usage resulting in environmental degradation and the paucity of scheduled bus routes, often forcing riders (especially students, tourists and office commuters) to choose between arriving at a destination extremely early, or late. In spite of such a widespread use, there are still a few areas of improvement in the field of public transport that could assist in the improvement of an individual’s travel experience. Based upon our observations and experiences, our team has brainstormed to create a product that would make bus route information available to travelers on the fly especially in situations when they have missed a bus. We intend to design the application such that it enables users to immediately look up alternative busses or routes for their destination instead of being stuck in the same place. We determined the best means of determining how to assist the users was to observe and interview them in the process of making a choice of an alternative such as cabs when missing the bus or waiting for a long time. To fully understand the problem space, we visited a few bus stops in Downtown Indianapolis and around our IUPUI campus, serving a pool of users throughout the day. Physical Site The chosen site for this project is the Bus stop and its surrounding experience. We selected a few bus stops in Downtown Indianapolis and around IUPUI campus. The primary focus of the inquiry will be at the bus stop itself. Stakeholders
There are three basic stakeholders in this application Commuters: Since we are only focusing on transportation by bus, bus commuters are the primary stakeholders in our application. The system would be designed to cater their needs. IndyGo Bus management system: These stakeholders represent the system whose data would be used to calibrate the alternative route maps for our primary stakeholders. Our application will depend on the timely and consistent information from the bus management system. Cab Services: These are the cab service providers who would be benefitted if our target user chooses to avail a cab when they realize that they are not satisfied with the wait time or a reroute suggested by our application. Activity Focus The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, commonly known as IndyGo, operates the public transit system for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. IndyGo operates 28 fixed routes with some 5,000 stops, bus frequency varying on the popularity of the route. The system carries approximately 9 million passengers annually, traveling a total distance of about 9 million miles. The minimum time gap between two buses of the same number is 30 minutes and the user have to wait for that amount of time to get the next bus or look at the map (displayed at the bus stop) to finalize a different bus for his/her route. Our application will tackle this wait time problems of the passengers by providing them the accurate information of the next bus arrival, either of the same number or a different bus to the same destination. We would also provide alternate transport options like cab services with the calculated price. The vast number of options can make the selection process intimidating for the potential users. Hopefully during the contextual interviews we can uncover the processes that users take to select the transportation they would like to use. Potential Users The potential users of our system are bus commuters. Bus commuters usually face a lot of issues when they miss a bus at a bus stop or when busses get cancelled. And there is no convenient way for them to get any updated information while they are waiting at a bus stop. Sometimes while at a bus stop, people don’t realize that another bus could take them to the same destination and they waste their time waiting only for the bus that they know. Our potential users would be travelers who would be able make or change their travel decisions based upon information provided by our application.
Fieldwork activity and data collected Fieldwork Data Collection 1
The images, audio and interview transcripts for our Fieldwork Data Collection Results I is present in Appendix A The informed consent form is present in Appendix B. To better address the problem space, we went to various IndyGo bus stops in the Downtown area. We noticed that some of the bus stops were heavily crowded while some of them were sparsely crowded. The heavily crowded ones had more shelter. Since it was snowing, most of the people were standing inside the shelter. However, at the larger bus stops, there were a number of people who were standing out of the shelter. We noticed that they were doing so because at the larger stops, multiple busses were stopping simultaneously and some of them stopped ahead of the shelter area. We observed them for around two hours and in the process made videos capturing the actions of the IndyGo bus users, took snapshots of important artifacts in the field, made notes about the observation and eventually selected users for a contextual interview. While standing at the “Ohio/Meridian” IndyGo bus stop we observed the following realistic aspects of the event environment: • • • •
• • • • • • • • • • •
Large number of people using the bus service Some of the users were sitting inside the shed while many were standing and keeping a constant watch for their bus to arrive Some users were checking the route board to decide which to board Almost all the users were using a cellphone, mostly smartphones. The activities range from talking on the phone, listening to music, texting, social networking etc. Some users were asking other bystanders whether that particular bus has left or not People were also asking about which bus to board for their destination We saw some users running towards the bus stop and asking us to signal the bus driver to keep waiting for them We also noticed some people missing their bus and just waiting for the next bus to come. People were mostly travelling alone Poor display of bus route chart Some taxis parked nearby but people were waiting for their bus even if it took a long time for their bus to arrive Majority of the users were middle aged Route maps were displayed right at the entrance of the shelter The Route maps were affixed at an appropriate height such that people of different heights would be able to read the information easily. The benches inside the bus terminals were located away from the place where the bus maps were affixed. The effect this had was that most people were sitting on the bench and the bus route map could be easily seen since there was hardly anyone blocking its view.
In order to collect data to assist with solving the problems we found while attempting to address and confirm our preliminary observations, we conducted different contextual interviews with an IndyGo Bus user and a Yellow Cab driver. •
Interview one: Standing at the bus stop in Downtown Indianapolis with a person waiting for his bus Interview two: At the Monument circle with a Yellow Cab driver
Interview 1 Key findings from our interview: •
• • • •
Getting a bus at a particular set time is a crucial activity. Since its arrival depends on many factors like traffic, wait time at all the previous bus stops, weather conditions, etc. (In our case – Snow) User wants to wait for the bus first, if it becomes too late then only they proceed to the taxi User uses the IndyGo customer service number to get the information about the bus timings, bus routes and service availability. He also asks his neighboring waiting users frequently for information about the same. User wants more facilities at the bus stop regarding the bus arrival. He is also interested in an application showing the real-‐time details about the bus timing, weather effects on bus services, multiple bus routes and taxi services The taxi drivers sometimes get calls from passengers to pick up from bus stops The user generally cannot determine whether he missed the bus or not and that he just waits for another bus to come.
He also asks his other friends/ co-‐workers, frequent travelers, for the bus information, over the phone. Fieldwork Data Collection 2 The images, audio and interview transcripts for our Fieldwork Data Collection Results II is present in Appendix C For our second and third contextual interviews, we went to different bus terminals in downtown and observed people and their activities while they waited for their bus. We visited two IndyGo bus stops in the Downtown Indianapolis area. The two bus stops were Ohio/Capital and Capital/Market. Interview 2 These bus stops were a few meters away and we both observed for around 3 hours. During this time we observed people boarding different buses, some people waited more than the others. We also noticed people changing bus stops from Ohio/Capital to Capital/Market to complete their journey. Some people were carrying two-‐three bags with them while most of the
passengers were in possession of a light handbag. We also saw a mom carrying her baby in a stroller, a cyclist parking his bike in front of the bus and boarding it. Among all this action we observed a particular person sitting inside the bus stop while the majority of the passengers were outside waiting for their bus and looking in the direction of incoming buses to find their bus number. That person wasn’t reading anything nor listening to music, just relaxing while waiting for his bus to come. We asked him why has was sitting inside (it was sunny and warm that day!) not looking for his bus? He that said he had suffered three heart attacks and that he can’t afford to take any fast paced action or exertion. We then inquired from him if the bus stops right in front of the stop? He said, making a frustrating face, no and that when there are many buses, some stops far from the designated stop and that he missed quite a few. As he was sitting doing nothing, we asked him why don’t you read anything from the newspaper stand? He slammed back saying those stands aren’t updated and houses old stuffs. And then we asked for any suggestions that he might be having. He said, maybe, provide them in the bus itself! He was an old man and all alone at the bus stop. One thing popped up in our mind was about the violence scene associated with the various bus stops and in shady neighborhood. He said, in a heavy voice, yeah, ‘I witnessed some crime mostly people with drinking habits or drug addiction’. We raised a subsequent question, -‐ ‘in that case who calls the police and how these incidents are handled’. By this time, he became interested talking with us and started telling about the various experiences he’d seen during his lifetime as an Indianapolis resident. He replied, it’s the duty of the IndyGo officials whether anyone standing in that bus stop or the bus driver, if any crime happens on the bus, to call the police. He said, “There’s a protocol these people follow, I guess”. When the interview was going on, we saw many buses passing our bus stop, and our interviewee got distracted every time a bus passes by, in order to look for his bus number (No. 10). Then we asked if he found this bus stop convenient? He replied ‘Only if it’s less crowded, then yes’. He said that because of his health history, he always looked for a less crowded stop and also for less crowded busses. Then we asked him if he knew when his bus would come? He said confidently, 1:10 (pm). We asked ‘How can you be so sure about the timings?’ He replied, I am a frequent traveler and I also checked the Internet about the timings, before coming here. An Internet user, good! We inquired, do you get any information if the bus you’re waiting for broke down or got cancelled. He said, (Checking his watch again for the time) no, but this one time, one of the bus got cancelled so the authority arranged for a different one. It took them 20-‐25 minutes for this process and it was tiresome. We asked him ‘what about information about other buses’? He told us that he had a couple of schedule cards in his pockets and I can always refer to them to find out about other buses. After our interview, we proposed the idea of our application to him, basically phone based and whether he’d be interested in it. He zapped at us saying, I am not a smartphone user and that I
would prefer asking people around about the buses but the IndyGo people must increase the bus frequencies. He also refers to the bus route chart hanging inside the bus stop, if it’s not crowded. By this time, his bus came (it was 1:30pm!!!) and he went. Interview 3 For this interview we observed a person standing outside the bus stop. He was waiting for nearly an hour now. We approached him and asked him, ‘Why are you standing out for so long? Why not sit inside the shelter? He answered blissfully, its sunny today and to get some warmth, he’s standing outside. Also, he pointed out that this bus stop doesn’t have any heaters as opposed to others. As he wasn’t doing anything while standing, we asked him whether he’d be interested in some kind of reading from the nearby newspaper vending machine or using his cell phone for something. Making a sad face, he answered that he forgot his iPod Touch at home and now cannot listen to his favorite music tracks. What about the frequency of the buses? He said, as I only get these two weekend days as off, my time is at a premium. The buses should come as they come in the weekdays if not more frequent. Then we asked him ‘What about the information about the buses, how do you come to know about them?’ He said that he’s a frequent traveller and also carries the schedules with him. Then we asked him if those schedules are in print or on the phone? He promptly replied ‘They are on paper, the one printed by the IndyGo bus system’. Then we asked him ‘Are these schedules simple to read and with the right information? He said, pretty much yes, and coincidently, these schedules are brand new and would come into effect from tomorrow’. We noticed that there was a small notice posted inside the bus stop informing about these change. It was hard to notice it but it was there! We asked ‘What if you miss a bus today?’ He said, if you miss a bus, you miss a bus, you should wait for another one or walk to a different bus stop to get a different bus altogether. He also showed us direction to the next nearest bus stop, in case we miss a particular bus here, which was kind of funny. We saw him take out his cellphone to check the time and again and then he got back to conversing with us. Then we asked him ‘How do you get all these information about the buses?’ He answered, ‘from my experience, people around me or by referring to the charts inside the bus stops.’ Based upon his answer, we asked ‘But what about those bus stops that don’t have these charts?’ He said, ‘those were probably too old as almost all the newer stops have at least one chart. He also pointed out that as it’s a Saturday today, the IndyGo customer service phone lines are closed today and it would be very helpful for him, if they activate those lines on weekends too.’
We also observed that some buses were waiting here for the passengers to come and some passengers were running from far to catch it and were shouting to keep the bus waiting for them! What a scene it was. The interviewee was waiting for his bus during his time and said it will come around 2:30pm and that it will drop him 2 blocks before his home and he will walk the rest. We asked him about any interesting event happened to him while waiting for the bus? He recalled about one when he was waiting for number 19 bus for about an hour and it turned out that somebody inside the bus was sick and had vomited. It was a hygiene issue and the IndyGo people had to change the bus. He said that he would have preferred to get some information before hand of such an incident before the bus had arrived. By now, we had been talking to this guy for more than half an hour standing with him and his bus still wasn’t here. We were determined to wait with him till his bus comes. Meanwhile, we asked him if he had any suggestions in mind to improve the IndyGo bus service? He said, ‘yeah, maybe an online site or something to tell me about information, including some real time information, current schedules, any sudden change’ etc. Here’s comes an inspiration for us to built the application! Finally his bus came and he went too.
Work/activity models Consolidated Flow Model Based upon the flow diagram, we were able to understand about the different players in the system and their interactions. We learnt that the IndyGo bus system plays a central role in providing the bus stops with the various artifacts and in spite of that, there is not much direct communication of IndyGo with the passengers. All information reaches the hands of the passengers through indirect routes. Individual diagrams are present in Appendix D
Consolidated Sequence Model The sequence model displays the details of the different tasks that the users perform in the order in which they perform it. When making the sequence diagram, we realized that although the intents of the users were similar, our users used different means to accomplish their goals.
But eventually, all of them wanted to find a way to do some activity of leisure once they were aware of their busses but had to keep checking the bus numbers when any bus arrived. Individual diagrams are present in Appendix D
Consolidated Cultural Model The consolidated cultural model shows the common aspects of culture that pertain across the user population. The influencers were the passengers, co-‐passengers, customer service
representatives, drivers and the IndyGo management. We then consolidated all the unique influences between all the influences. Individual diagrams are present in Appendix D
Consolidated Physical Model The physical model shows the elements in the workplace that the people interact with. We observed that at larger bus stands, it was not easy for people to identify the bus that had arrived when multiple busses arrived together.
Artifact Model Diagrams The artifact model displays the different artifacts that our users collect and work with when they plan to travel on a bus. Most of the artifacts are static in nature such as the bus schedule, the route map, the bus fare information. There is no easy way for the user to interact with the artifacts collaboratively to find the information that he wants. Consolidated artifact model
shows how people organize and structure their activities from day to day. The bus route charts and the printed route leaflets are used by many people to gather information about the bus timings and bus routes. The helpline numbers can be referenced from various places like the charts inside the bus stops, printed on the bus itself, from the leaflets or from the tickets. The leaflet is easy to carry. The charts inside the bus stops are also simple to understand but outdated sometimes.
Additional Diagrams are present in Appendix D Affinity Diagram Based upon the affinity diagram, we were able to group together the different needs of our participants. While each of them voiced their concerns in different ways, the core of their needs focused on two main aspects having a better knowledge of the bus timings and routes, and, a preference for bus terminals with better facilities.
Requirements and goals Working forward from interviews, observations, and consolidated models collected thus far, we developed a cohesive set of requirements in order to better define the necessary components for the system to function as desired and provide usable output.
Functional Requirements The system: • Should allow the user to access the contact information for the indygo bus system. • Should display real time bus information for each day of the week. • Should be portable. • Should contain static and real time bus schedule. • Should inform the user upon bus arrival. • Should provide an easy access to leisurely activities while waiting • Should display bus stop details. User Requirements • •
User must be able to access information from his web-‐enabled phone User must possess enough knowledge to understand the information presented
Usability goals -‐ Effectiveness • Menu information is clear and useful • Simple and effective interactions at providing needed services -‐ Efficiency • Rapid interaction with clean menu • Saves time for customer and provide accurate information -‐ Safety • Shouldn’t distract user -‐ Utility • Covers all the IndyGo bus routes
-‐ Learnability • must be readily understandable, intuitive interface, guide user through the application -‐ Memorability • Consistent look & feel throughout the application, functions available at appropriate place/time User Experience goals ● Informative ● Time-‐saving ● Non-‐intrusive ● Aesthetically pleasing ● Helpful User profile 1 Our first user is a frequent traveller. However, this time he has to go to a different place that the one he regularly visits. He always carries his mobile phone with him and does not have any other luggage. User profile 2 Our second user is at home. He has a decent experience with using mobile applications. He will be travelling with luggage and would like to go with his luggage directly to the bus stop from which he can board his bus. Scenario 1 Mark needs to go to the supermarket. There is a sale that ends at 2 pm so he wants to get there well before time since he wants to buy a lot of stuff. Mark heard about this supermarket from his friend but he does not know which bus would take him there. He is aware of the route but is not sure about which busses can get him there in time because it is a weekend and usually on weekends, the frequency of busses is very less. He opens Indy Tracker on his iPhone. He enters his street name and the street name of the supermarket in as the source and destination. The applications show him a map and the route from a bus stop near his source to the bus stop nearest to the supermarket. He checks the bus list for his bus stop and realizes that there are only 2 busses that are plying on this route today. The next arrival time of one is at 11:45 am and the other is at 12:15 pm. He decides to take the one at 11:45 am and sets the application to buzz him at the specified time.
Scenario 2 Mary is travelling to Chicago. She needs to go to the main bus terminal and her bus it at 5:30 pm and she has a good 2 hours to pack and prepare for her trip. There are a couple of bus stops that are near her house. But she does not know which one of them will take her to the bus stop. She found out from her friends that the main bus stop, w here s he h as t o g o, is somewhere between 30 to 45 minutes by bus depending on which bus you catch because the routes are different. Mary opens the Indy Tracker application on her phone and enters the source and destination. The application shows her a map of the bus terminals around that have busses plying to the destination. She is then able to pick a nearest bus stop from the map and see the bus schedule for that bus stop. She realizes that the bus is too late. So she goes back to the map and selects another bus stop. She realizes that this bus stop has a bus that leaves in 30 minutes and reaches her destination 20 minutes well before time. She chooses the bus and sets the application to buzz her at the next arrival time of this bus. Conceptual Design
The application will facilitate the user when he is looking for a bus, either when he is at the bus stand or when he wants to know about the schedule of a bus or its route. The application w ill rely on the information from the IndyGo bus system and organize the route maps in a searchable way for each bus stop and for each bus route. The key highlight of the application is to enable the user to search for his destination and be able to choose the most suitable option from the one that the system will present him based upon his time and location preferences. He would also be able to view additional information in and around the shelter. Based upon the work models, we were able to design the information architecture of the system as follows.
Information Architecture Using IDM
We prepared the navigation for the application based upon the way the users interact with the system in real life. The navigation follows the same logic that people follow when looking for information in the context. On the application’s landing page one of the options allows the user to enter his source and destination. If a source is not entered, then the current location of the user is assumed to be the source. This kind of selection takes the user to a map view that will display the nearest bus terminal from his source that has busses to his destination. Upon selecting a bus terminal, the user can then see a filtered list of all the busses that depart to his choice of destination from there. If the user enters a bus terminal name, in that case the area map will display the route map from the user’s current location to the desired bus terminal. Upon selecting the
bus terminal, he will be able to see the details of all the busses at the terminal with their next arrival time. The landing page also gives the user an option to enter a bus number. This is the case when the user is already aware of the bus that he needs to travel on but want to get specific details of only that bus. In that case the system takes the user to the area map, which lets the user select a terminal. Then it will display the entire bus schedule and route-‐map for that bus in a new page. Operations Bus information • • •
Customer enters bus number. Customer enters destination to get the bus details. Customer selects a time for which he wants to be notified.
Bust terminal information • •
Customer selects a terminal to get the shelter information. List of busses that go to the customer’s destination.
Bus Route Information • • •
Route details of the bus along with all the stops. Bus timings for all the terminals on of that bus. Bus fare information for the entire route.
Page Design and prototypes For the high fidelity prototype, we started with our paper prototypes. We first determined the 3 most common ways in which we envisioned the system to be used – Looking for a known bus, looking for busses between two locations and looking for the buses and facilities from a given bus terminal. Then we used the paper prototypes as screens and walked through the aforementioned tasks of the user. Based upon the walkthroughs, we identified few key items • Information that must be present on most pages, if not all. For e.g. t he helpline. • Information that is relevant to one page but not to another, for example, in the page where we show the area maps, we show different units of drop down lists based upon the selection that the user made. • Information that should be shown on the map. For e.g. some maps require a route to be displayed such as when the user enters both the source and the
destination. Other maps such as the one for the bus terminal details, does not require route information.
We used these findings from the walkthrough as differentiating factors between the key screens of our application so as to provide the user with the relevant contextual information on each screen that he interacts with.
High Fidelity Prototypes We prepared a high fidelity prototype of the application using axure which is available at http://share.axure.com/LHFIWW Based on the work models we gathered findings on the needs and requirements of the passengers. How the various artifacts affect their travel, the physical location i.e. the bus stop also plays an important role for the waiting passengers. From the consolidated flow model, we analyzed that for a passengers, there are many point of interactions like the IndyGo bus management, co-‐-‐-‐passengers, the bus driver and the customer service representatives. In our application we introduced the helpline feature to give various important contact information about IndyGo. We included all the arrival bus timings of the buses, for that day, to compensate for asking the co-‐-‐-‐ passengers. We also have an option of setting alert for their bus arrival using the ‘Buzz me’ feature. The consolidated physical model told us about the various facilities associated with a bus stop. We noticed that critical information and included a facility description in our application. Whenever a user wants to know the bus stop facilities, he can click on its name to look at them like the sitting arrangement inside the shed, heaters, vending kiosks availability etc. The application gives an intuitive feel and displays all the possible information in a coherent manner as supported by the consolidated sequence and culture model. The two options on the home screen itself support all types of users whether they know only the bus number, bus stop name, just the destination or from a source, other than the bus stop, to a final destination.
Internal Walkthroughs of High-‐-‐-‐Fidelity Prototypes
Based upon the requirements and workflow identified from the work models we designed a high fidelity prototype of the envisioned application as an iPhone application. There are 3 scenarios that we try to cover in the application. 1) A user wants to determine the busses from a source and destination. In our case, the user wants to go from New York Street to Lafayette Road. Our application addresses this use case by letting the user perform the following sequence of actions. a. On the home page, enter a source and a destination. b. On the next screen that appears, select the nearest bus stop from the source from the list of suggestions provided. c. Once the user selects the nearest stop, he can then click on the button at the bottom to see a filtered list of all the busses from that stop that go to the requested destination. d. The list displays the next arrival time of the bus. He can also see the list of the subsequent bus arrival times from the dropdown. e. If he selects a particular bus, he can then see the entire route of the bus and its various stops. If he selects a particular stop, the arrival time of the bus at that stop will be displayed. f. He can then choose to select the time at which he wants to be notified of the bus arrival. 2) A user is aware of the bus that he wants to travel on. In our case, the bus number is 37. But he wants to determine the schedule for the bus. The system supports this functionality in the following way a. On the home page, the user can enter the bus number. b. This takes the user to the area map, which displays the bus route for the given bus. The user can then select a destination and bus stop from the drop down. c. Then he clicks on the button at the bottom to see the full schedule of the bus.
d. This takes him to the page where he can see the different stoppages of the bus and the different timings of arrival of the bus at those stoppages. e. His currently selected bus stop is highlighted and he can choose an arrival time for that bus stop for which he wants to be notified. 3) A user new to Indianapolis and uses only one bus stops most of the time. The stop name is Newyork/Illinois st bus stop, which is close to his home as well. He cannot remember all the buses that cater to this particular bus stop. He also wants to know the exact time of his bus as he lives close to the bus stop. Since he wants to leave a minute or two from his home, an alert would be a good option for him. This task can be completed in the following sequence a) On the home page, the user can enter the stop name. b) This will take him to the next page where he can select his destination and can also view his initial and final locations. c) When clicked on ‘Find Buses’, he can see a list of all the buses for his selected destination. d) He can view the next arrival time or all the arrival times for that day. e) He can now use the ‘buzz me at’ feature to set an alert for a particular time of arrival of the bus.
User Feedback and Recommendations User Testing We tested our applications with 2 users. We asked the users to perform the following two tasks. Task 1: Consider you are new to Indianapolis and you live near the bus stop called Newyork St./Illinois St. You want to go to the Wal-‐Mart, Lafayette road to do some shopping. Since you do not know which busses go to Lafayette road, find your bus number. Also, put an alert for a particular arrival time for that bus. Task 2: Suppose you are standing at the Newyork St./Illinois St. bus stop, find the next arrival time for bus number 37 and look for all the facilities present at that bus stop. User 1 Occupation: Student Age: 23 Commuting Frequency: About once a fortnight
This user stated that he made use of internet before travelling. The primary means of getting information about the routes and busses was Google maps. However he did acknowledge that when he was at a bus stand, there was not much that he could use to determine the status of a bus. The user had the following feedback for each task Task 1: This task was clear and the user was able to complete it easily. The user did feel that the screens were relevant and that all the information present on the screen was useful. However, the user also made the following comments. • He preferred to be taken to the list of busses first instead of an area map when searching for a destination. • On the app screen that displays the bus information, he said he would have found it more useful if along with the arrival time, it would also display the duration that it would take to reach the destination. He said that duration of travel along with arrival time would be more meaningful for him in order to select a bus instead of just the time. Task 2: This task took the user a bit longer to perform. However, when he performed the search, he was not able to easily get the information for the bus stop. Although the user went through all the relevant screens for the task, the user was searching for the place where to get bus stop information. After he tried for a while, we had to help the user and ask him to click on the top of the screen which displayed the bus stop name. From this task, we gathered the following feedback from the user. • •
It was difficult for him to know that the bus stop name was clickable. While trying to click elsewhere, the user also seemed slightly confused on the page that displayed the bus route. He mentioned that it would have been nice if the words – bus route would be more prominent so that he would instantly know what the different names on the screen meant.
The user also made an overall suggestion that apart from the functionality of the application, he would have also liked if it also displayed interesting areas around the bus stop. He said that it would be nice to know if there was a good restaurant nearby that he might want to try out if his bus was to come after a long time.
User 2 Age Group: 20-‐29 Gender: Male IndyGo bus user: Yes The second participant performed both the tasks in a reasonable amount of time and without any major errors. For the first task, he started with the homepage and typed in the bus stop name. The guiding text already mentioned in the search box helped him to choose that option. • The search result page offered him a map view with the current location of the bus stop and an option to now select the destination. But, he was a bit confused with all the blue squares scattered in the map. Those boxes were actually the bus stops to be found along the way for the selected destination. • Since, the Wal-‐Mart is located at the Lafayette/30th st. he found that option and pressed on find buses. He then selected the bus number 37. The next screen posed some problem for him. The route map was not clear for him. He said, " you could have placed some arrows here to guide from the source to the destination, it's a mess!" • He could understand the use of "buzz me at" option and selected 5:30pm for the alert. This completes the task 1. Task 2 Since the user already got a bit familiar with the interface now, he was finding it easy to move around the application. He typed in the bus stop name and pressed search. • On the next screen, he was searching for a "facility" option but couldn't find any. He then accidentally clicked on the bus stop name displayed at the header which brought the facility information for him. This completes the task 2. Improvements Based upon feedback from our user walkthroughs, we determined the following recommendations for improving our design: • One of the major improvements would be to give some elements such as the bus stop name more affordance so that the users would know that it is clickable.
• • • •
Another improvement would be to also include the bus details information on the map itself because we observed the user trying to click on the map when trying to get information about the bus terminal. We may also include another button that lets the user explore local hotspots surrounding the bus stop by using data feeds from external sources. Showing the proper flow from the source to the destination Improving the alert process especially in case of late bus arrival. Improve the map view interface with more interactivity and information
Appendix A: Fieldwork And Data Collection I
Video Link: https://iu.box.com/s/t1lw01dnpunjm7qoadjc Audio Transcripts of the Contextual Interview:
1) With the Person waiting for the bus: https://iu.box.com/s/niqqju9qlmnjgltc3nlg 2) With the Cab Driver: https://iu.box.com/s/ep6rv6glak0w13r6ek54
Written Transcripts of the Contextual Interview: Interview Setting
• • •
Downtown Indianapolis IndyGo Bus stop Event: Waiting for bus No: 8 Date: February 1, 2013
Male, age 52 years Occupation: Hardware repair worker
Notes Before approaching the user, we observed that he was listening to music on his smartphone. We came to know that he travels three to four times a week to his work, sometimes to meet his friends and his daughter. He prefers bus to taxi, as he wants to save money. When planning to travel to a new location he calls his friends or the IndyGo bus service to know more about the bus number and the route. While the interview was on, he lighted a cigarette, since it was cold and snowing. He was also interested in some “on-‐bus stop” facilities like newspapers and a chart to show the simplified information about the map and various bus routes. He doesn’t use Internet to get bus information presently but seemed interested in an application that would display data about the bus timings, alternate routes and service availability. Interview Setting
• • •
Monument Circle Taxi parking stand Event: Waiting for his clients Date: February 1, 2013
Male, age 38 years Occupation: Yellow Cab Driver
Interview Transcript: Commuter Q: How often do you travel by bus? A: About 3-‐4 times a week. Q: Do you use a regular route or a different route every time? A: Different. Q: How do you get the information? A: I look up the bus schedule. I ask people who I know. You can always use the bus station.
Q: Do you use Internet for finding bus related information? A: I don’t use Internet for finding this information. Q: How often do you wait for your bus? Do you come on time and you wait for your bus? A: Sometimes I get lucky. I am on time and I get the bus. Otherwise I wait for the bus to come. Q: How do you kill your time? A: I listen to some music and smoke some cigarettes and wait. Q: Would you like something to do when waiting? A: Having a newspaper to read would be nice. Q: What if you miss the bus? Would you wait for the next bus? A: I have to. What else am I going to do? Q: What about the cab service? Would you call a cab? A: I don’t have money for the cab. Else I would not be riding the bus. Q: Would you wait for the same bus number or a different one? A: A different one. Q: There are some boards on the bus stop. Would you be referring to that? A: Yes, sometimes. Q: Would you be interested in an application that would show you the exact real time information about where the bus is? A: I think that would be great. A lot of people would like that. Q: What kind of options would you like to see in such an application? A: I would like to see where the bus is en-‐route and estimated time of arrival. At least you would know – that the bus is going to be here in 8 minutes. Q: A bus that you wanted to travel on has just left. So, how do you decide how long you want to wait? A: I wait until it gets here. If it starts getting dark, I start getting worried.
Q: So, you mean to say that you would not know when the next bus would arrive? A: Yea, I would not know. Even right now I don’t know. I just got off the 37 over there. I got to take the number 8. I don’t have the number 8 schedule so I can just wait. It could have just left. I might have to wait an hour. Q: Do you take the bus for your work? A: I take it for the doctor’s appointment, for business. Visit my daughter. Later on we thanked the participant for his cooperation and then collected our notes. Interview Transcript: Driver Here’s a short transcript taken place between the driver and us. Us: Do you get calls from people waiting at the bus stop. Driver: no, not so frequently. Us: Do you connect directly with your passengers? Driver: umm, No. Us: Do you use an application to connect with the passengers? Driver: I have a phone to pick up calls from my base station directly me to an address and a radio to talk directly to my supervisor. I also get notification from my company about the passengers. Appendix B: Informed Consent Form Consent for Participation in Interview Research I volunteer to participate in a research project conducted by Ryan Sukale and Aeshvarya Verma from Indiana University. I understand that the project is designed to gather information about the activities of bus commuters while waiting at a bus stop. I will be one of 3 people being interviewed for this research.
1. My participation in this project is voluntary. I understand that I will not be paid for my participation. I may withdraw and discontinue participation at any time without penalty. If I decline to participate or withdraw from the study, no one will be told.
2. I understand that most interviewees in will find the discussion interesting and thought-‐provoking. If, however, I feel uncomfortable in any way during the interview session, I have the right to decline to answer any question or to end the interview. 3. Participation involves being interviewed by researchers from Indiana University. The interview will last approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Notes will be written during the interview. An audio tape of the interview and subsequent dialogue will be made. If I don't want to be taped, I will not be able to participate in the study.
4. I understand that the researcher will not identify me by name in any reports using information obtained from this interview, and that my confidentiality as a participant in this study will remain secure. Subsequent uses of records and data will be subject to standard data use policies which protect the anonymity of individuals and institutions. 5. No one outside of the interview will have access to raw notes, transcripts, pictures, or audio tape of the interview. This precaution will prevent my individual comments from having any negative repercussions.
6. I have read and understand the explanation provided to me. I have had all my questions answered to my satisfaction, and I voluntarily agree to participate in this study. 7. I have been given a copy of this consent form. ____________________________ ________________________ My Signature Date ____________________________ ________________________ My Printed Name Signature of the Investigator For further information, please contact:
Appendix C: Fieldwork Data Collection II
This picture shows a bus with a bicycle holder for passengers who carry bicycles. From one of our interviews later, we came to know that the new busses that are being put into place would be able to hold 3 bicycles instead of the current facility of 2. The participant seemed quite pleased at this facility even though he did now own a bicycle. But he did feel that such a facility would encourage the use of public transport.
In this picture, we observed that the number of the bus service was clearly written in large alphabets on the backside of the bus. Also, you can see that the website address of the indigo bus system is also mentioned. In one of the interviews, the participant said that he usually planned his trip by looking up the bus schedule online.
This is a picture of the front side of the bus where the fares are mentioned. This is pasted near the front side of the bus just at the entrance so that the passengers can easily carry money before they enter the bus or while they are waiting in the queue to take a ticket.
This is a picture of a public newspaper and classified stand near the bus stops. As you can see, most of the sections are empty. During our observation we noticed that there was hardly anyone who was interested in using this service because they found this information irrelevant and old too.
In this picture you can see people waiting at the bus stop. One of them has a newspaper in his hand. He was the only person who seemed to be reading a newspaper at the bus stand. Almost all of the others were just standing and waiting looking here and there, and some had their earphones plugged in while they waited.
In this picture taken inside the shelter, you can see a traveler looking at a schedule and making a note of the bus numbers in his cellphone. We observed that a lot of passengers looked at the travel charts the moment that they entered the bus stand. One of the reasons was the fact that the bus routes were being changed from Feb 10. As seen in the picture that follows.
What we noted here is the fact that people came to know about the new routes only because they saw this poster. So, there was no way for them to find out if the bus routes had changed if they had not seen it here, or looked it up online or called the bus service to find out. From one of the interviews, we also noticed that those who were familiar with the local routes and busses relied on their memory for the bus information and seldom referred to the bus charts. This has the impact that sometimes, they may still rely on outdated bus information.
As you see, the bus chart at the bus terminal also has the number and the website address. From our interviews, we came to know that many of the bus terminals do not have this charting information. This makes it hard for them to find out about the proper routes when they are stranded and almost all of our participants relied on calling the bus service when in help. In fact, one of our participants even said that he would have liked to see the bus information anytime. But since the IndyGo bus system does not ply all the time, even the call lines don’t work 24x7. This forces them to wait for the IndyGo call lines to be active before they can decide about their travel routes.
We noticed that the bus shelter also had a few signs that indicated that smoking was prohibited. Most people who were smoking were standing outside the shelter. In one of the shelters, there was a woman sitting along with her child. We wanted to interview her but were unable to because she was already having a tough time trying to manage her kids.
In this picture, you can see another passenger looking at the bus route chart.
In this picture, you can see that a lot of people were sitting outside the bus shelter. When we asked a few, most of them said that it was warmer outside than inside. One of our participants said that this bus terminal did not have heaters. And since it was cold and the sun was up, he preferred to stand in the sun rather than sit in the shade. He also said that he would have liked it if the bus stand had heaters. It’s possible that if he knew that there was a bus stand nearby that had a heating facility; he might have chosen to wait for his bus at that place.
This is a picture of one of our participants who was waiting at the bus terminal. He was standing outside because it was warmer outside rather than inside. When it was time for his bus to come, he showed us his watch and said that although it was supposed to come by now, he had no idea how late it might be. We waited with him until his bus arrived 10 minutes late. But there was no way for him to know if the bus was going to come, or if the bus had broken down somewhere. All that he could do was to wait and see if it comes.
One of the magazines from the newspaper columns. Most of them are just heavy on classifieds and do not serve any purpose for the travelers.
This is a picture of a passenger keeping his bicycle on the bus before boarding.
This is a picture of the ticket-‐issuing box inside the bus. As you can clearly see, it displays all the bus fares and any other bus pass instructions. This is facing the door, and seems to be redundant on purpose.
This is a picture of the driver’s seat inside one of the busses. You can also see a day pass in the ticket vending machine.
IndyGo bus day pass. As you can see in the picture, it contains the phone number for customer information and also the website in case customers want to check any details online.
Appendix D: Work Model Diagrams Cultural Model Diagrams Consolidated Cultural Model
Cultural Model : User 1,2,3
Sequence Model Diagrams
Artifact Model Diagrams
Flow Model Diagrams Consolidated Flow Model
Flow Model : User 1
Flow model : User 2
Flow model : User 3
Appendix E: Paper Prototypes
Appendix F: Interactive Prototype Screenshots
A comprehensive report describing the user centered design process followed in order to develop IndyGo Tracker mobile app.
Published on Feb 16, 2014
A comprehensive report describing the user centered design process followed in order to develop IndyGo Tracker mobile app.