Public transit app “Citymapper” and public transport tickets purchase issues

My First Ironhack challenge on Design Thinking

Mission statement of Citymapper: ‘We use the power of mobile and open transport data to help humans survive and master them’.

Problem Definitions:

Citymapper is a transport app for cities. It has covered many transportation problems with adding amazing features into an application but there is still an unresolved problem, which is the different amount of public transport tickets the users have to purchase.

As we all know, public ticket purchases vary from country to country and we have to buy tickets based on zone/departments and it is harder when you travel abroad where you do not know how and where to buy it.

Current functionality:

A mobile application where users select starting points and destinations and get different multimodal routes with estimated time and associated costs.


Create a new feature for this app that solves the pain of having to purchase different public transport tickets by different channels.

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is both an ideology and a process, concerned with solving complex problems in a highly user-centric way.

To solve this issue, I used a 5-stage design thinking model.

Author/Copyright holder: Teo Yu Siang and Interaction Design Foundation. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
  1. Empathize : Research your user’s needs

I choose people from different countries and I used an empathy map which captures what they do, say, think and feel in the context of the problem. For that I prepared interview questions related to the problem. For example, How often do you use public transport locally or internationally? Which kind of public transports do you use (bus, metro, etc.)? How was the procedure to buy tickets? Do you like it? If not, which is the solution you recommend to overcome this problem? For how long does it take to get a ticket? During the interview I listened, observed, and noted all the information I needed to get the pain points and improvements.

Below are my findings:

  1. Every country has different methods to buy transport tickets.
  2. Buying tickets is always time consuming and boring.
  3. Very difficult to do transactions where we do not know the language.
  4. In the abroad they are unable to compare the best price or best source of transportations to reach out to the destinations.
  5. Misplaced ticket they bought.
  6. Mistakenly bought wrong ticket.

2. Define:

In this stage I have combined and analyzed the research to define the problem statements. Based on observation and questions, the majority of people are facing a lack of comparison of good prices and best sources of transportations to reach destinations and they didn’t want to waste their precious travel time into buying and understanding public transportation tickets.

3. Ideate:

Now that the problem is apparent, it’s time to brainstorm ways to address those unmet needs. The Nielsen Norman Group defines ideation as “the process of generating a broad set of ideas on a given topic, with no attempt to judge or evaluate them.” So after defining the problem I started to think about all possible solutions we can do to resolve this problem.

Options are listed below:

  1. Temporary travel card connected with app
  2. Special tourist paper tickets
  3. Ticket with bar code in the App
My ideation board

4. Prototype:

My goal is to simplify ticketing and payments so that we can have a beautiful complete experience, across a multitude of transport modes, with minimal worry and hassle. As application has already possess user information I came up with below solution to overcome this issue.

My own prototype

Here is the prototype of my idea. Where the user will enter his/her details of travel and the app will give him/her exact details with the next feature “Buy my ticket”. Whenever user will click on the buy button, it will redirect to the payment detail page which is one time. After that the user will enter and verify all details and he/she will get a ticket. This solution can be useful to avoid long queues, no language barriers, user can get tickets within a minutes.

Conclusion and key learning takeaway

During this whole research I learned about how important it is to gather the right information. Wrong information can lead to waste of time and disappointment. Opinions and problems could vary from people to people and it is your job to relate them with one another. Dig deep down to get the right information as your focus group might give you information which is not relevant to your problem. So it is very important to be very conscious during the empathic phase.



Agile project methodology in change management with a fresh UX/UI design skills

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Megha Parekh

Agile project methodology in change management with a fresh UX/UI design skills