Phase 1: Understanding Users and Designing Prototype<br />Landscape<br />Many people have to ride the metro. <br />The current metro ticketing systems are good only for certain aspects but fail when it comes to actual usability.<br />There is a need for change.<br />Understanding the different users- Tourists, Daily users, International visitors( Not familiar with English), Old fellows, Blind Users.<br />Research Methods<br />Field Research<br />User Observation<br />Prototype was based on current ticket system design at client-side and also London Underground systems design and others around the world.<br />Based on this study, designed a Prototype.<br />
Phase 2:User Testing and Evaluation<br />Conducted a Focus Group with 7 friends and also performed usability testing at my office.<br />Presented design on power point slides with step wise instructions and explanation of things to come on paper.<br />Assigning them predefined tasks along with a sheet of paper for making corrections and receiving feedback.<br />Also tested it with the ticket machine manager and onsite users who gave interesting insight into the system and help to redesign the system.<br />
Results of Evaluation<br />Redundant slots on the system causing confusion.<br />No need for a separate smart trip issue machine causes security issues and also loss of focus from main machine.<br />Two touch screen systems very expensive also complicates the simple system.<br />Need for message alerts and better instructions. <br />Need for interactive map.<br />Need for cancel transaction and Audio button and Call station manager (direct phone connection)<br />Need to make number hitting digitized for credit/debit transactions.<br />Need for a better layout.<br />
Phase 3:New Prototype and Final Design<br />Based on initial feedback, the new prototype was designed and tested again with the same users and some new users via remote testing. Based on their final feedback and evaluation this design was created which has the following:<br /><ul><li>Simple uncluttered design with minimal instructions, fewer buttons, and no extra slots or stickers on the machine.
Regular Message updates on top especially for peak and non-peak hours fare change or any other updates.
Huge Touch Interface with Four Tab navigation like a Website.
Home has a simple menu with an easy flow to understand.
A-D letters with brail and also the 3 buttons Audio, Cancel, Call for Help embedded with brail for blind users and light for normal users when they press it.
Minimal slots for transactions with the letters illuminating when required.
Speaker system set up for calling station master.
Colors and Hardware used are very different and inspired by iPhone design.</li></li></ul><li>Touch Interface Menu Features<br />The main Home Page has only 4 selections and is easy to navigate.<br />As and when the user requires to use number pad (i.e.) in credit/debit card transaction, it appears on touch screen.<br />I have retained my previous design feature of displaying the destination selection page with a list of locations (Location, Line color, Amount) and also the amount is calculated automatically.<br />After the correct transaction is selected, the last screen displays duration to selected destination, line changing requirements and also arrival time of next train. <br />The basic steps are well versed and are similar to the current system but digital features come up as and when required. <br />Besides, there is a HelpTabwhich has a video embedded which u can play for instructions and also instructions menu listed in text is available below based on steps involved in each function on touch screen<br />A separate tab for Language selector with all languages possible is available and default is set to English. The system goes back to English automatically after a single transaction is complete and can be changed based on places and countries. If a transaction is not done then there is also provision for manually hitting “Back to English” button.<br />
Touch Interface Features-Map<br />The map is very interactive and is based on iPhone Maps <br /> Maps-Compass. (2010). Retrieved May 9, 2010, from Apple.com official website: http://www.apple.com/iphone/iphone-3gs/maps-compass.html<br />The map uses iPhone like features with multi touch zooming features and also slider and rotator for better view of map. <br />Maps. (2010). Retrieved May 9, 2010, from WMATA official website: http://www.wmata.com/rail/maps/map.cfm#<br />Front page displays interactive Train Route Map which has clickable destinations.<br />If you click on a destination then a small popup appears with location based details, price of the journey and a point of interest tab.<br />The point of interest tab displays a list of nearby places to visit with small icons associated to it and a back button to go back to map<br />
Map<br />Home<br />Help<br />Language<br />Map Screen 1<br />Maps. (2010). Retrieved May 9, 2010, from WMATA official website: http://www.wmata.com/rail/maps/map.cfm#<br />
Map<br />Home<br />Help<br />Language<br />Map Screen 2<br />Maps. (2010). Retrieved May 9, 2010, from WMATA official website: http://www.wmata.com/rail/maps/map.cfm#<br />
Issues Going Forward<br />Installing touch interface is a very costly process.<br />Users might find it hard to migrate into a totally digital environment.<br />Use of interactive maps on the same system as the ticketing machine may waste user time and may cause congestion.<br />System might fail totally if touch interface stops working.<br />System will not be subject to hardware changes very often but the software of the touch interface might need a regular update as and when required.<br />
Future Scope<br />One enhancement would be to have a “current news tab” which appears only when the machine is idle.<br />If the machine sits idle for 5 minutes then it automatically goes to news page where a video of local news channel starts flashing and when a user steps within a specific distance from the machine it redirects back to home page or else user hits home to go to main menu.<br />A similar concept can be used for local advertisements and generating revenue for the community.<br />This could give back funds to the community.<br />
References<br />London Underground ticketing. (2010). RetrievedMay 9, 2010,from Search Reference website: http://www.search.com/reference/London_Underground_ticketing<br />Maps-Compass. (2010). Retrieved May 9, 2010, from Apple.com official website: http://www.apple.com/iphone/iphone-3gs/maps-compass.html<br />London Underground Ticketing. (2010, April 29). In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Underground_ticketing<br />Madrid-Metro. (2010). Retrieved May 9, 2010, from Madrid-Tourist Guide website: http://www.madrid-tourist-guide.com/en/transport/madrid-metro.html<br />Metrorail. (2010). Retrieved May 9, 2010, from WMATA official website: http://www.wmata.com/rail/<br />