The project brief:
To work in a team to identify problems and/or opportunities with an existing mobile app and utilize your knowledge to design a solution.
I was very fortunate to be working with 3 very talented fellow UXD’ers. At the end of our project, I stood in awe at what we could achieve when we come together despite our differences.
As fellow commuters of the Private Hired Vehicle (PHV) services in Singapore, we were inspired to work on Ryde — a local PHV service provider. Also, beyond personal reasons, we see this as an opportunity to improve lives of fellow commuters. It was revealed by Land Transport Authority (LTA) that at the end of 2017, there were one million trips made daily on the PHV platform in Singapore. We knew that we could potentially be making the lives of a considerable amount of people simpler if we could redesign a product to provide a better booking experience for the users.
If what I am doing isn’t benefiting anybody, I’m not doing it. I need to live for a purpose bigger than myself. — Yours Truly.
First things first, we kicked off the project by reviewing the ratings and reviews of Ryde on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. We wanted to gain an understanding of the general sentiment on the most neutral of platforms.
Next, we conducted a Heuristic Evaluation on the current Ryde app and a few big players in the SouthEast Asia market.
We also conducted a competitive analysis on existing services.
To ensure that we have accurate data, we further conducted tons of interviews in the form of questionnaires, face-to-face interviews and usability tests on the current Ryde app. After identifying the patterns and trends in our data, we generated 3 personas to represent our users and developed our hypothesis.
Because Ryde provides several services that are unique to the PHV industry, we sat down to proritise the features before we could design our Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
After rounds of research, brain-storming and throwing of ideas, we envisioned this is how our design could meet the need of Michelle Chiong — our primary persona
The purpose of developing low-fidelity prototype is really due to the need to conduct usability testings. We wanted to ensure that changes are fast, cost-and-time efficient.
Keypad, +/- icons, or slider?
Price adjustment is a feature unique to Ryde and we wanted to make sure that this feature is not an additional pain-point for our users. Unsurprisingly, this feature is also one of the few that divided the team. Instead of engaging in an argument of egos, we decided to put our ideas to the test with the use of Lo-fi prototype. We conducted multiple usability testings and research across our designs and concluded that we should go with the Keypad option.
I secretly conducted a t-test to determine if our final design is truly working better than the other designs and achieved a p-value of 0.01241101. Yay to statistical significance!
Final design and interactive prototype:
A usability test was conducted using the System Usability Scale (SUS) on our Hi-Fi prototype and achieved a score of 88.75. To achieve a score beyond 80.3 indicates that users love our system and are more likely to recommend it to their friends and family.
While some might not be too interested in the whole idea of “Accessibility”, I argue that stats have tell us that 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women in the world have some form of colour deficiency.
We tested and reiterated our prototype over because we intended a prodct that would not be too overwhelming for users with colour deficiencies or at least, as much as we possibly could.
I personally feel that the whole idea of improving UX is really about fitting in as many people as we could into the whole tech eco-system. One of the saddest thing that I can imagine is whenever a user stop using a product simply because he/she felt that the product was not designed for him/her. In my opinion, a product should never reject its targeted user.
While we are very happy and proud of our design, we are far from being done. There are other UI and UX improvements that we would really love to see implemented if we had the gift of time.
Human-Centered Design should not simply stop at the User Interface of a digital product. True UX is so much more. It is encompassing.
We would be thrilled to venture into the space of Service/Experience design for Ryde’s services. In this case, the whole UX should move to include areas such as customer service, loyalty programme, waiting for pick-ups, and travelling from point-to-point etc.
I am truly fortunate to have worked with a great team where our skills and strengths complemented one another. We were able to overcome our differences and individual short-comings to achieve a result we otherwise couldn’t have done so alone. We also completed a 15 page usability report detailing the design process and design thoughts that went into the reiterations of our designs. I have to say that I was truly having a good time doing up the report! It felt like writing a dissertation all over again!
Maybe it is the analyst in me, or maybe it is because of my background in psychology, or could it be because of my obsession to uncover the truth? I don’t know, but I am truly convinced that a good research is the cornerstone and foundation of any good design. A good research will ensure that design changes are out of necessity, not blunders.
Lastly, a huge shout-out to my team! Keep changing the world and improving lives, one at a time!