I’ve been very excited about the UX Bootcamp. I’ve been prepping for the Ironhack for a few days now, so I decided to work on the pre-work which is necessary before starting the course. I already feel like the Star Trek pilot’s junior assistant, that as you can see I have never seen before because I don’t even know if there is a pilot in the ship. Actually, the truth is that I’m already done with about 29% of the pre-work and I started familiarizing myself with this app Urban Go, which is used to find fast and effective methods of transportation in any city worldwide. It seems to work very well because it has almost all the transportation options of any place around the planet, from Uber, cab companies, trains, subways, buses, and bicycles to scooters and even electric skateboards.
The exercise consists of applying the design thinking process. So I chose five people to interview who I know are frequent travellers and also smartphone users from different apps, and find some kind of pattern. I was really able to take a deep dive into the way they use their apps in foreign countries and their own. I divided the interview into two parts, the first one being when they are on vacation and the second one when they are at home.
Through the interviews I noticed a handful of transportation challenges and inconveniences that anyone can empathise with, starting from the time they lost figuring out the machines, to successfully using them and having to queue. Others also mentioned that the language in countries from Asia was also very complicated, but what caught my attention the most was when everyone agreed that the advantages of using phone applications were the practicality of having everything in one place and saving time, instead of getting lost in the depths of your bag or not finding your wallet and the correct amount of currency until the machine times out, or you realise you didn’t even bring it with you in the first place.
Using the five people I interviewed, I put together the commonalities and created a persona, Cristina. Cristina is a frequent traveller — at least three times a year — who is very open-minded, spontaneous and adventurous, yet also practical and takes responsibility when travelling abroad. She is roughly 37 years old, prefers digital over analog, takes public transportation often, and doesn’t usually carry cash. Like most people these days, she doesn’t like to have to wait when not necessary. We can all relate to Cristina.
At home, Cristina primarily travels via public transportation and has a monthly subscription ticket. When travelling abroad on top of all the apps she uses locally, there’s always a new app needed for ride-sharing, another one for the electric scooters, and yet a different one for public transportation.
That’s too many apps!
How to simplify this for Cristina and everyone else? I mapped out three possible solutions, with one clear winner.
What Cristina needs is the Urban Go wallet feature, which puts everything in one place for quick and effortless access. Cristina ate twelve kilos of salted butter for lunch and didn’t feel like walking. With the Urban Go app, she compares and chooses from the transportation options available, can simply use the wallet to pay directly the type of transport that she already choose, and in the same place, she purchases the trip and is ready to go from point A till point B without changing apps.
The urban go wallet works just like any other wallet, you can charge it with the credit you want and use it simply for the transport of your preference; from a bike ride till a car share, all in one.
What I have learned from doing this exercise is that in the design process you can go backward and forward many times. After doing the first two interviews I realized that I needed more information so I added more questions for the third and fourth person. On the other hand, I understood that talking about the subject with the interviewees makes you immerse yourself in the project and the ideas came up on their own. The design process at the end of the day makes you catharsis so that later the creative moment is much easier and is by itself.