Citymapper is a transport app created in 2011 by Amat Yusuf. It helps daily commuters and travelers to find their bearings in a city, offering the best routes at the best rate, whatever the type of transport they choose (public transports, cab companies, scooters, city bikes…). In July 2020, the app was covering 58 cities in the world.
Although the current product of Citymapper is already very efficient, there’s still one pain point for many users : how challenging it is to buy the right ticket for the right direction at the right price without having more tickets than clothes in your backpack.
I’ll use the design thinking technic to solve and address the issue.
Let’s start with interviewing a few people about their use and experience of public transports to understand how they feel when they’re somewhere they don’t know and have to navigate through a city. I asked both frequent and casual users of transports apps, between 28 and 50 years old.
Through the interviews, these issues were mentioned :
- Price : I want to know if I’m paying the right price
- Storage space in the phone : I want an all in one app so I don’t have to download an app every time I change the location
- Time : I don’t want to waste to much time trying to figure out how the transportation system works, I don’t like queueing and I want to be able to buy a ticket even though I’m in a hurry
- Safety : I don’t like taking my wallet out in the subway
- Language : I’m sometimes struggling to buy a ticket or find appropriate help with the language barrier
- Money : I hate when bus drivers can’t sell tickets and I need to have the exact change in coins to buy a ticket
When travelling, the main issue users have to face is Getting the right ticket at the right price, in a language I can understand, in a quick and secure way
Considering all this, after a good brainstorming session, here are 2 of the best ideas I could go with :
- Click and collect, Buy your ticket on the app, withdraw it in selling point.
- Universal Card, Subscribe to the Universal Card program (for a certain amount per year or per months) and give us your banking information, receive it at home by mail, use it everywhere. When you plan an itinerary, you can pay the ticket through the app and tap your U.C. on your phone to load the ticket. The money won’t be taken instantly as some fares are cheaper after several rides (eg. a 10 tickets pass is cheaper than 10 single tickets).
- Mobile ticket, instead of having a physical ticket support, keep everything in your phone. When you pay your ticket, it generates a QR code that you can use as a ticket. You can pay as you go or store it in your phone if you want to plan ahead.
I chose the Universal Card (the U.C.) to prototype because I think it’s the best solution for the users and for technical reasons too.
The prototype is in two parts as I wanted to show the subscription and the purchase.
I knew what were each stage and what they were for but knowing and doing are definitely two different things.
I struggled a bit with the prototype, I made several versions of it and once I thought everything was ok, I realized I was still missing a few things. It’s also hard to know what level of detail you should put in the prototype.
Thank you for reading. Please leave some comments, I’d love some feedback to get better at this!