indygo tracker a mobile app for the indygo buses

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A comprehensive report describing the user centered design process followed in order to develop IndyGo Tracker mobile app.

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  • 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

  • Executive Summary 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 individuals 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 com