How might we streamline the Clipper Card use and refill process to make it more convenient and reduce frustrations for Bay Area commuters?
2 weeks | Group Project | Conceptual Project
Using a clipper card for public transportation is confusing and mistake-prone. To get a card and load it with money or a monthly pass there are several options:
- In-store at Walgreens or Whole Foods
- The existing clipper card website (which takes 2 days for the balance to be updated)
- In-person at the kiosks at the BART stations
- Monthly passes can only be bought during the last week of the month for the next calendar month.
Create an iPhone app that would allow commuters to:
- Get a virtual clipper card from anywhere
- Add value to card from device
- Manage payments
- Use the mobile device as a clipper card
I worked with a team of three other people: Kevin, Elizabeth, and Paula.
We each contributed to research, usability testing, and white-boarding the user-flows. During the second week, I took the low-fidelity wireframes created by Kevin and turned them into high fidelity mockup.
research and discovery
As a team, we did a mix of qualitative and quantitative research to understand the users and their needs. We all did user interviews, I did independent research and business analysis, while my teammates created a survey.
Most of the users (70%) commute daily and use a Clipper Card. Their biggest frustrations were train or bus delays, confusion with the Clipper card system, safety concerns, cleanliness issues, and complaints about other passengers.
Business model canvas
Daily passengers fill the largest revenue stream, so it's important for BART to have lots of passengers.
Based on our user research, we put together a user persona to remind us of who we were designing for.
Complaints on 3rd party sites
On Yelp and Trip advisor, the three top complaints about BART were Delays, the Ticketing system (clipper card) and cleanliness.
Most users we interviewed were most frustrated with delays, confusion with the clipper card, and security / cleanliness.
Complaints on 3rd party sites
On Yelp and Trip advisor, the three top complaints about MUNI were cleanliness, unsavory passengers, and overcrowded buses and trains.
Some of the strong trends from the survey sent out: most riders have used public transportation for over a year, and their biggest concern is time and efficiency. Most of the data for our user persona was pulled directly from the survey.
A lot of people use the clipper card. On BART and MUNI alone, there are over a million riders a day.
The Design process
We started the design process with a design studio exercise as a team to get ideas flowing quickly without getting caught up in the details.
After generating ideas from our design sprint we white-boarded a user flow which we then revised. And then revised again...
After agreeing on the user flow and decided which screens were needed. Kevin created low-fidelity wireframes and a clickable prototype to test on users.
Based on our user persona, we gave a simple scenario for our testers. "You're a bay area commuter, you've been commuting for over a year, and you use a clipper card for public transportation. This is an app that will let you refill your clipper card balance. How would you connect your card? ... "
Based on user feedback, we then re-iterated our design, and created a second prototype to test again.
After finalizing our low fidelity wireframes, I then took the wireframes into Sketch and created the visual design. I loosely followed the Clipper Card branding guidelines, since the goal of our project wasn't a complete brand redesign, I wanted the clipper brand to still be recognizable.
For the first phase, we just touched the surface of being able to digitally use your iPhone as a clipper card, making it easier to check and refill your balance.
Given more time, next steps would include exploring how we could enhance the app into one that enhances more aspects of the bay area public transportation. For instance, many users we interviewed would like to know ahead of time about scheduling, there were also more security precautions we'd like to build into the app, and since the bay area is such a diverse demographic, we'd also like to have the app available in more languages.