The Jitney system in Miami, FL provides additional transit support to neighborhoods that are underserved by public transit. However, the process of catching a jitney isn’t very simple. Because all of the current routes and schedules are offline, the goal was to make a Jitney app that digitized this information while remaining simple and accessible. These jitneys are also privately run small business that have struggled to gain traction because of their offline presence. This app can aid current users while gaining a new set of Jitney passengers that will be able to familiarize themselves quickly and keep these local businesses afloat.
The first step I wanted to take in conducting research was the fly on the wall observation of how the Jitney operated. I boarded the bus and observed several interactions between passengers and the driver. Most notably, I witnessed passengers not have enough change and the driver letting them on regardless, based on familiarity. This moment sparked the idea of having a digital pass that would facilitate the boarding process. In addition, I witnessed different generations on the jitney and that reinforced the importance of having the jitney become a digital experience.
In my interviews, almost all my participants have taken public transit in Miami, however, a large majority of them were unfamiliar with the Jitney and because the process was completely offline, they had no idea it was serviced in their neighborhoods. Below are a few quotes from participants:
“I would use this mode of transportation more often had I known it existed.”
“Why are all the routes offline? It’s hard to memorize all that information.”
“It’s a great service but it feels like a well kept secret.”
Sitemap + lo fi wireframes
When thinking about the information architecture of the Jitney App, it was crucial for the app to be direct and navigable. Because the Jitney has a loyal follow-ship of riders across all ages, it was important to facilitate the transit process for the passenger. When it came to Menu, the key features were determined by my research. For example, being able to buy a pass on the app would solve the problem of the passenger not having the exact change, and would rid the driver of the responsibility of keeping track of money owed. Since the Jitney is completely offline, I proposed having all available routes digitized and available for user view. Digitizing these routes allows for all passengers, new or existing, to have information about their daily commute readily available.
Informed by my Lo-fi explorations, I knew that I wanted the app to stand out visually. As part of this goal, I used a saturated yellow and experimented with bold graphics and a heavy typeface. The final design was graphic driven and bright, while still offering accessibility in legibility and contrast. The text is clear and the menu options are straightforward for users of all levels to gain familiarity with how the application works.
understanding the user
My observations and interviews allowed me to grasp who I was designing the app for. I created personas to depict different user journeys while on the jitney.
Juan has just moved to Little Haiti, a neighborhood served by the Miami Jitney. Since it is the closest method of transportation, and there is drop off station near his job, he decides to take it for the first time.
My interviews and sketches gave me a greater understanding on the purpose of interactions on the app and how they should work. In my lo-fi wireframes, I explored how to maximize the use of the app, without causing extra work for the user. By limiting the number of options and screens, I focused on my user’s journey that was solely jitney based.