We have designed a new interface with simplified functionality for the Saint Joseph Transit page of the City of Saint Joseph, Missouri website.
Our original prototype was based on interviews with the following key stakeholders:
To enable us to refine the interface based on user centered design principles, we performed a series of four usability tests. The test participants were four random students from the Missouri Western student population. The test evaluators were two trained usability specialists from the Human Factors graduate program at Missouri Western. The intent of the analysis was to discover what aspects of the current system were most problematic and to determine what usability issues end users had with our proposed design.
Our proposed design is a completely automated process. The end user does not have to manually look up routes or route times. The end user has the option to print the route directions and map. To test the ease in which a participant could figure out the route directions, each participant was asked to perform the same list of tasks (Exhibit A) on the current and proposed systems. The results of the tests were that none of the participants could figure out the route using the current system in the allotted 20 minutes. But each participant was able to successfully get their route directions using the proposed system in a matter of seconds.
At the completion of the usability tests, each participant was asked what they would like to see changed to make the new system easier to use. Based on their feedback, the prototype was re-designed. The suggestions that resulted in the most critical changes were that the left navigation was unnecessary and that the map printing routine needed to be easier. Also, the process to elect to return to the original destination needed to be more apparent. We addressed all issues and updated the prototype accordingly.
Based on the interview and test findings, we documented the system requirements. Important functionality that is transparent in the prototype is the direct result of feedback from the stakeholders. For instance, the advocate for the cognitively challenged riders is able to print out directions and a map for her clients. Therefore she does not have the arduous task of writing these out by hand. The vouchers needed for riders are printed with the instructions, so riders do not have to wait for the bus driver to give them a voucher and write the date and time on it. The driver can simply use a hole-punch to validate the pre-printed voucher in the validation box provided. Another notable attribute of the proposed system is that frequent riders who may have their regular routes figured out and no longer need the system to calculate or print the routes can use the system in the exceptional case, such as on days when the snow routes are being used.
We appreciate the opportunity to develop a proposed design for Saint Joseph Transit. Our proposal is based on a user centered design process which keeps the stakeholders and end users involved in the development process, and we will be happy to assist you further as you develop your new system. Please contact us if you have any questions about the contents of this report.