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Enhancing the BART System
🚀Designing a solution to make the riding experience better for BART riders.

🎯 Finding the most impactful intervention point in the system
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My Roles & Responsibilities
User Research, Information Architecture, Ideation, Wireframing, Visual Design, Prototyping
Class project under Prof. Jesus Garcia  (Nov 2021 - Dec 2021)

Team: Me & Cassie
Figma, Miro

🎯 The Goal

To evaluate the current BART system and redesign a better solution to enhance the user experience for novice riders (such as tourists) and expert or regular riders.

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The Goal

ℹ️ What is BART?

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is a heavy-rail public transit system that connects the San Francisco Peninsula with communities in the East Bay and South Bay.


Secondary Research

Yelp, Google, and Apple Store reviews
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Main Findings:

Before riding:

  • Lack of notice in delay              

  • Inconsistency of the timetable with the actual departing time

On the train:

  • Lack of cleanliness

  • Loud people/noisy

  • Intercom voice not heard

  • Train delays

After riding:

  • Payment for parking is advertised wrong

Field Research

📍BART station and on the train







Visited the Civic Centre BART station at 10 am on a Sunday

Observed friend’s reaction as a first time BART user

Walked through the station, observed, and talked to different kinds of people at each point. Documented their interactions with photos and notes

Purchased a ticket as a first time user, and took a train till Embarcadero Station

Got down at the station and did some more observation and interviews to gain insights.

Rode back to the Civic Centre Station

A few people we interviewed:
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📋 Synthesizing Insights

After taking notes and documenting observations, we individually put down our insights and then grouped them to find overlaps.

Also mapped out at which point of the process the pain points lie and gave us an idea about the significant pain points in the system.
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👤 Creating Archetypes

After gathering insights from our research, we had an idea of who our target audience was.
We grouped them into three archetypes

👟 Mapping the User Journey

Now that we knew our target audience and their pain points, we laid down all this information, along with their thoughts and actions- from when they enter the station to when they leave the gate at their destination - to find opportunities
Journey Map
Opportunities found:

1. Entering the Station (before entering the access gate)

  • Make the kiosk interface more intuitive to understand

  • Make the labeling of the kiosks easier to understand

  • Change the location of the clipper card scanner so that it's more visible

  • Integrating the card scanning process

  • Make information related to the journey/BART system - more accessible, especially near the kiosks - regarding phone wallets and BART app


2. Entering the Access Gate

  • Make the entering and exiting signs more obvious

  • Make the card scanning process for the accessible gate more aligned with the mental model

3. Going to the Platform

  • Make the elevator more accessible /easier to find

4. At the Platform

  • Color code the lines

  • Make information consistent across the platforms

  • Introduce markings on the platform for bike areas, entry areas etc

  • Show the direction in which the train is going to arrive

5. On the Train

  • Increase speaker volume

  • Show live-updated map in all trains

6. Leaving the Gate

  • Reduce the difficulty of finding the elevator location

  • Give more clarity/ map out information on which exit leads where

Grouping Opportunities

to find our problem statements
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How might we make the process of getting a new clipper card more intuitive while informing users of the varied available resources?
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How Might We make information across the BART system more consistent and accessible and tie it to the user's mental model?

💡 Ideation

breaking down the HMW statements

// HMW 1

How might we make the process of getting a new clipper card more intuitive while informing users of the varied available resources?

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// HMW 2

How might we make information across the BART system more consistent and accessible and tie it to the user's mental model?

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🤔 ❌

However, through this first phase of ideation, after feedback, we realized that we didn't go as deep as we should have.  We then brainstormed again, but this time, we pushed ourselves to think more innovatively. We used various ideation techniques such as mind mapping, SCAMPER, and forced connections to expand our thinking beyond the obvious solutions.

👈 Taking a step back.

Looking back at the thoughts & pain points in our journey map.
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Pain points brainstormed on:
  1. Payment for Clipper                          

  2. Awareness of train time/plan  

  3. Confusion regarding  access gate indication  

  4. Friction in the  In-station direction





Ease of getting to the platform with the extra load,  esp for bikers, and people using the accessible gate                                                                                                      

Taken by surprise by no color coding of lines on the platform           

Indication of the waiting area at the platform                                                                 

Stop announcements on the train speakers can't be heard

Ideation 2.0

First round of Ideation
Brainstormed ideas on each pain point
First Round of Ideation
Second round of Ideation
on the top ideas
Second Round of Ideation
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Prioritization of Top Ideas:

Here are some of the ideas:

One theme that had the most impact and that most of the ideas were leading toward was: 

Integrating the clipper card and Apple Pay/Google Pay into the BART app

Hence, leading to...


Revamping the BART App


The current BART app does not have the clipper card integrated into it. From research and analysis, the opportunity for Integrating the Clipper Card and Digital wallet was very high.

It also eliminates the confusion for people who are looking for a ‘one-time ticket’

"How can I just buy a one-time ticket so I don't have to pay for the card even if I lose it?"

"Where and how should I pay for the clipper card?"


Integration of Clipper card into BART app, while informing people of the various types of cards available


Confusion regarding pricing and how much to load in the card.

"How much should I pay if I only ride once?"


Fare calculator

that automatically calculates the price after entering the destination


Information regarding the trip even before reaching the station - delays, low wallet value

"why isn't the train here yet"

“The station was down and I didn't get any notification so I had to take the bus to another station”

“I got on the wrong train by accident”


Personalization of Home Page, so that route understanding is easier for first-time users as well as the benefit of specific train updates for frequent users.

Home Page Detailed Features

old screen 

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