UrbanGo // Design thinking

Mylene Simoes
7 min readApr 1, 2021


Ironhack Pre-Work: Challenge 1

/ Introduction /

Here is the presentation of my brainstorming work in the Ironhack / Bootcamp UX/UI Design challenge.

Our task is to create a feature for the UrbanGo app to : Solve the problem of purchasing different public transportation tickets through different channels.

Do you know UrbanGo?

UrbanGo is a public transportation and mapping startup based in Silicon Valley.

It aims to solve urban mobility problems by offering their users the fastest and cheapest public and private transportation routes with accessible and simplified payment. Freedom at your fingertips!

> Their application calculates, in real time, the itineraries of urban transport users, combining several modes of transport (RER, metro, bus, Vélib’, Autolib’, VTC, on foot…). It takes into account both public transport networks, cab and VTC rentals, as well as self-service rental networks, from scooters to bicycles.

Their direct competitor is the Citymapper application, which is present in 24 countries including 70 cities. Users are between 23–45 years old.

// Empathize //

The first step of reflection is empathy to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of a user. That’s why I started my case study with a competitive intelligence.

This allowed me to know my competitors but especially their strong and weak points.Thanks to this market analysis, I was able to create a questionnaire in order to know the users better. Four people between 23 and 45 years old were interviewed.

Regular users of public transport in their city, as well as abroad during trips.Throughout the interview, I asked questions about their travel habits, their purchasing process and, of course, their frustrations with UrbanGo.

It was an effective, open-ended questionnaire that allowed me to better understand their needs and expectations.

Questionnaire: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1aJaDCOItZeek-bCIPhNUBtbaEbl5_rxpMGUwGNJ7x9Y/prefill

> Now I can better understand the users :

  • What are their motivations?

They absolutely want to save time and have an efficient, easy and intuitive application. And they want to have an answer to their need very quickly no matter where they are. This application is like a guide, it reassures them and accompanies them.

  • What keeps them from buying or adopting our product?

According to their answers, the purchase of tickets via the application is poorly communicated and not reassuring enough to begin the purchase. The SNCF and RATP applications are very used and reassuring for the users. The routes are clear and the payments are easy and fast.

Moreover, they are directly updated because it is directly the application of public transport. Many of them prefer to buy at the ticket office to have an accompaniment and to be sure not to make mistakes when buying. Another point is the security of payments, especially abroad.

  • The Origin of UrbanGO?

Not well known and therefore less reassuring. Citymapper is the leader on this subject because it is recommended by its own users.

>>> Thanks to the analysis of the answers I have been able to create 3 personas for the moment

// Define //

This step helps us understand how we can help users solve certain issues :

>>>>> Comfort and Clarity:

  • Clarity! The user wants a clear and simplified application. Use of visuals (logo, image and good communication).
  • Ergonomic and Intuitive! An application that he can understand in just one look and in 1 click.
  • Save time! Source of loyalty that we must imperatively take into account. We are here to help, guide and especially satisfy a need. The user wants to use it in a few minutes and all in one.
  • Reassuring! The application must be benevolent because it can comfort and reassure the customer. The customer must feel comfortable and serene to make purchases via this application.
  • Precision and choice! The application must be accurate and detailed to prove its professionalism and offer choice everywhere in the world.
  • Make the user unique! Users want applications that are tailored to them and created for them.

Satisfying our customers with comfort and clarity in order to keep them loyal requires an ergonomic, intuitive and reassuring application. Our goal: to make this application indispensable for them and automatic use!

>>>>> Intuitive and Fluid :

  • Simplicity! The user wants an application that goes to the essence, a simple and intuitive payment process anywhere in the world
  • Logical! The application must be logical and synthetic for a purchase in 2–3 clicks.
  • Fluidity and confidence! The user likes to feel reassured, that’s why integrating a reloadable account will make him serene. He knows the application, his data are already integrated, he just has to select and validate. Confidence and speed.
  • Accompaniment! The user likes to be comforted and guided, especially in a city or a country he doesn’t know. That’s why Passes are important to simplify travel in unknown areas. Or the purchase of tickets that can be activated via the application.
  • Time/Duration! Accuracy of time is essential. The user wants to be informed about possible changes or if a trip will save time. This makes the application professional and useful.
  • Simplified payment! The user prefers to pay via app than in real life. He likes useful and simple applications like Lydia and SNCF. Via an account integrated to the application.

An application today must be intuitive and modern. The speed of updates and payments is the key. The simpler, more logical and relevant the purchase process is, the more your user will use it automatically. Solving this problem makes the application ideal and unique. A mixture of several applications in one.

>>>>> User experience :

  • Memorable! The user wants a memorable application that is both professional and fun.
  • Shareable! The user wants to be able to share their location in real time with other people. More than an application but a chat, a sharing of journey, a meeting.
  • Fun! The visuals in an application are favorable to better guide and make the application more modern.
  • 2 in 1! A more advanced Gps like Waze would be a plus for those who use the car. They do not have the reflex, the application could become two applications in one.
  • History! Having a trip history facilitates the purchase process and allows the user to be remembered by the application. We could integrate typical trips that should only be selected later.

Solving the user experience humanizes the application and makes it unique and a little more human in the eyes of the users.

// Ideate //

Here are the different ideas maintained and to be taken into account to improve the application

>>> Comfort & Clarity

  • Speed & Relevance : Actual update of Time/Duration and proposal of English or other languages
  • International Security : Double authentication by email
  • Communication on the purchase option : Logo (tickets/purchase) on the first page and throughout

>>> Intuitive & Fluid

  • Simplify payments in 1 : Simplified the purchase process to 1 and all in 6 clicks maximum
  • Rechargeable account : Creation of an account with personal information and possibility to recharge
  • Ticket to activate or Pass : Possibility to buy tickets to activate whenever you want or passes for one or more days. All over the world.

>>> Experience

  • History : Keep a file with the history of the journeys and if the journey is repetitive, propose it (completed form)
  • Route sharing : Share your route and your position to find each other. Pictures moves in real time
  • Photos or videos to guide : Display photos or videos to indicate routes more effectively than street names or subway exit numbers.

// Prototype //

/// Lessons learned ///

This case study was very enriching for me and interesting.

Understanding the user is essential and the user himself brings us a lot of different ideas. It’s amazing to see how the user perceives an application and what his vision of the ideal application would be. It’s unique to each one and yet humanizing.

The study also allowed me to understand the importance of questions to ask users. The questionnaire.

An open-ended question can quickly be perceived as complicated or redundant. It is important to study the questionnaire carefully and to get people talking. It is by talking to them that we get ideas or that we really understand what they are looking for.Another difficulty is sharing the information collected about the “personas” or “problems to solve”. Some may be similar but not bring the same result. It is important to differentiate them.

Transport and other applications have evolved enormously in recent years. They have become essential, playful and avant-garde. They accompany us and simplify our daily life. I hope to be able to contribute to this new generation of applications and to help the daily life of every person.

PPT pre-work> https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Xn3pa6DHHAfTPLfiMJszcLRJ3IkvNaUU8tRZi1byLag/edit?usp=sharing