🚊 Enhancing the BART Experience

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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My Roles & Responsibilities

  • User Research,

  • Information Architecture

  • Ideation

  • Wireframing.                                       

  • Visual Design

Project Context

  • Nov 2021 - Dec 2021.                       

  • Class project under Prof. Jesus Garcia                                                    

  • Team: Me & Cassie

Tools Used

  • Figma                                       

  • Miro

 

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.

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Research

 

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

at the BART station and on the train

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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, and 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)
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2. Entering the Access Gate
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3. Going to the Platform
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4. At the Platform
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5. On the Train
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6. Leaving the Gate
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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, we realized that we didn't go as deep as we should have. Our ideas were still pretty basic. So we pushed ourselves and did another Ideation Phase

👈 Taking a step back.

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

  2. Awareness of train time/plan                                           

  3. Confusion regarding        access gate indication                   

  4. Friction in the                               In-station direction

5.

6.

7.

8.

Ease of getting to the platform with extra load,

esp for bikers, people using the accessible gate                                                                                                      

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

Indication of  

waiting area at the platform                                                                 

Stop announcements on the train                               speakers can't be heard

(Deeper) Ideation

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
Prioritization of Top Ideas:
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Here are some of the ideas:

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1. Payment for Clipper
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2. Awareness of train timings
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3. Access gate indication
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4. In-station directions
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One theme that most of the ideas were leading towards was: 

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

 

Revamping the BART App

Why the BART App?

Opportunity 

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

Feature

Opportunity 

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

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

Feature

Fare calculator

that automatically calculates the price after entering destination

Opportunity 

Information regarding 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”

Feature

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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new

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Opportunity 

People are taken by surprise by the names of the lines

"how come the lines are called something different? where is the red line?"

"where is my line?"

Feature

Showing both color and line names side by side to help with association

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Opportunity 

Confusion regarding in-station directions

"Which exit is the closest one to my destination?"

"Where is the closest elevator I can reach to?"

"is there an elevator to get my bike down easily?"

Feature

Incorporating

In-station AR directions for people who are not able to locate certain things.

NEXT STEPS

  • Do more in-depth research regarding the AR glasses and build on the concept                                                                          

  • Usability testing the app changes.       

  • Make the designs higher fidelity and incorporate BART's design guidelines 

  • Explore how to create awareness of the BART app.