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Message Muni

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Slides for a quick talk at TransitCamp Bay Area! A simple and forgiving text messaging service for San Francisco Muni arrival times.

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Message Muni

  1. 1. Message Muni A simple and forgiving text messaging service for San Francisco Muni arrival times. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  2. 2. About this project • Independent project, not for profit. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  3. 3. About this project • Independent project, not for profit. • Just a guy who wanted to scratch an itch... Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  4. 4. About this project • Independent project, not for profit. • Just a guy who wanted to scratch an itch... • ... in a way that would help as many of my fellow Muni riders as possible. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  5. 5. About this project • Independent project, not for profit. • Just a guy who wanted to scratch an itch... • ... in a way that would help as many of my fellow Muni riders as possible. • I Muni and NextBus! Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  6. 6. Why text messaging? • Quick asynchronous interaction well suited for the chaotic context of public transit. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  7. 7. Why text messaging? • Quick asynchronous interaction well suited for the chaotic context of public transit. • Want to make the service accessible to as many people as possible. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  8. 8. Why text messaging? • Quick asynchronous interaction well suited for the chaotic context of public transit. • Want to make the service accessible to as many people as possible. • Enjoy the challenge of working within constraints. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  9. 9. My approach • Think about the interaction design first, implementation second. • Design using my own experiences as a daily rider, but also others – learn from friends and coworkers with varying levels of Muni experience. • Prototype, try it out, prototype some more! • How far can I go with cheap and free resources? Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  10. 10. Interaction philosophy • Keep things simple and obvious. • Learn as you use the service. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  11. 11. Interaction philosophy • Keep things simple and obvious. • Learn as you use the service. • Use knowledge of the world people already have. • Streets, stations, places – not stop codes. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  12. 12. Interaction philosophy • Keep things simple and obvious. • Learn as you use the service. • Use knowledge of the world people already have. • Streets, stations, places – not stop codes. • Make the service forgiving. Close is good enough. • Compensate for creative spelling, find the nearest stop. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  13. 13. First encounter To: 41411 From: 41411 muni Get Muni arrival times. For example reply: muni n 9th and irving muni j powell muni 6 5th and market Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  14. 14. Getting times Reply to: 41411 From: 41411 muni n 9th and irving N at 9th and Irving To Downtown: 2, 10, 15 To Ocean Beach: 3, 8, 11 Save a shortcut! Ex: reply “muni add towork” Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  15. 15. Save a shortcut Reply to: 41411 From: 41411 muni add towork Shortcut “towork” saved for N at 9th and Irving. You can now send “muni towork” for times. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  16. 16. Still waiting? To: 41411 From: 41411 muni up N at 9th and Irving To Downtown: 1, 7, 11 To Ocean Beach: 1, 5, 11 Update these times! Reply “muni up”. Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  17. 17. What makes it work • NextBus and Muni! • TextMarks • Yahoo! Geocode API • LAMP Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  18. 18. Next steps • Working prototype ➜ Release • integration • More complex shortcuts • Location based features • Rider feedback / system alerts • Mapping fun! • Data upkeep Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)
  19. 19. anks, Transit Camp! • Let’s brainstorm! • Site forthcoming, until then: • http://jvollmer.org/messagemuni/ • Want to play with Message Muni after this session? • Let’s trade info, and try this thing out in the field! Message Muni John Vollmer (jvollmer@gmail.com)

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