Mobile Prototype – Bus Application

In my HCDE 498 Prototyping class, our class was prompted to create a smartwatch-smartphone application system.

The most difficult part about trying to come up with an idea for a smartwatch app is having no personal experience with working with or using a smartwatch. How is it different than a smartphone app? What would I use a smartwatch for?

I realized that, personally, I would use a smartwatch when it is inconvenient to take out my phone. I brainstormed ideas about smartwatch apps that show phone notifications, that assist you in instances where both hands need to be free, etc. Then, I came up with an idea that I decide to prototype. It solves the inconvenience of taking out your phone and was inspired by the frequent use of my One Bus Away App and Google Maps.

 

The Design

The purpose of the application is for the user to have all their Seattle Metro, or any general public transportation, needs in one place. The user is able to add their payment method to their app for easy paying without having to handle carrying physical cards. Additionally, the end goal was to have the feature of bus trip planning within the application as well, but I thought exploring the addition of a One Bus Away type feature would be a good preliminary step before adding the complications of Google Maps type trip planning.

 

Ideation

As a typical primary step to designing a solution, ideation and sketching are necessary. Here are my sketches and initial steps in creating my paper prototype.

BusSmartwatchSketches

Building

As tackled in one of my previous design projects, the public transportation system is such a fruitful problem space. I want everything I need for my bus experience in one place. I want to be able to see when my next bus is coming, pay for the bus, and know when to get off the bus all in one convenient solution. The smartwatch paper prototype does exactly this! The smartwatch application pairs with an smartphone application that allows the user to input their payment method (in the city of Seattle – a U-Pass, ORCA card, etc.) and have real-time public bus map directions. Additionally, it is assumed that the application has “My Location” services on, that determines if the user is at the bus stop or on the bus.

The Paper Prototype

Here’s a short demo of the paper prototype at work!

 

Testing

After creating this prototype, the prototype needed to be tested with users to ensure functionality and feasibility. Both with in and outside of class, I have gotten similar critiques.

  1. They did not fully understanding the icons on the home screen (the clock and dollar sign). I was suggested to simply add a label for the icons below (which would be time schedule and pay) to aid in the understanding of the functions.
  2. They had difficulty understanding the syncing with the phone functionality. After explaining that it syncs with the phone to receive map directions and payment options, it became clear to them. However, the time schedule coloring after syncing still remained confusing. What the coloring is supposed to be is that in the phone’s map directions, you have a planned route, which is highlighted in Green, and possible back-up routes to reach your planned destination in Blue. The Gray coloring indicates a route that runs by the bus stop the user is at, but will not take the user to their planned destination.

 

View more of my prototyping projects here.