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Pathik: UTC Journey Planner

introduction

The "UTC Pathik Traveller Application" is an Android mobile application provided by the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC) to enable citizens and travelers to access UTC's services online. This application was created through a collaborative effort between the National Informatics Center (NIC) and Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC). The "Pathik UTC Traveller Application" offers access to a range of services provided by the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC), including-

  • Check the bus service running between stations.
  • Check the seat availability.
  • Online booking of tickets.
  • Cancel tickets.
  • Booking history.
  • Check the refund status of canceled tickets.
  • File a complaint.
  • Track My Bus.
  • Rate Us/Feedback.
  • Contact Details of Help-desk.

Objective of the website

To enhance the UTC Pathik app, a set of objectives have been identified. These objectives include improving the overall user experience by addressing navigational complexities, sluggish performance, inaccuracies, and technical glitches. Additionally, the aim is to enhance usability to cater to a broader audience, including those with limited technology experience, and expand device compatibility to ensure smooth operation on various mobile devices and screen sizes. The application will provide accurate and real-time information regarding bus schedules, seat availability, and booking options, while strengthening security measures to build user trust in online payments. Streamlining the complaint process, offering user education within the app, implementing regular updates, and encouraging user feedback will all contribute to a more seamless and user-friendly travel experience. Moreover, the application will consider incorporating features to promote tourism in Uttarakhand, showcasing popular destinations and attractions accessible via UTC services. These measures collectively aim to create an improved and more accessible travel platform while boosting tourism in the state.

Target Audience

  • Travelers- Individuals who frequently or occasionally use Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC) services for commuting within the state.
  • Tourists- Visitors and tourists exploring Uttarakhand who rely on UTC for transportation.
  • Private Sector Mentor and Industry- The DIC website also engages private sector and industry stakeholders who are interested in collaborating with the government on digital initiatives, exploring partnership opportunities, and staying updated on the latest developments in the digital landscape.
  • Local Residents- People residing in Uttarakhand who use UTC services for their daily commuting needs.
  • Diverse Age Groups- A wide range of users, from young adults to elderly passengers, who use the UTC services.

The Challenge

The challenge is to enhance the user experience of UTC Pathik by tackling common user frustrations, which include issues related to navigation difficulties, sluggish performance, inaccuracies in information, and technical glitches. Moreover, usability challenges, restricted device compatibility, and apprehensions regarding payment security have collectively impacted the overall user satisfaction.

Research Phase

  • Current Information architecture
  • Discuss the existing information architecture of the website or platform, including its structure, content organization, and navigation pathways.

  • Overview of the Primary Flow on the Website
  • Explain how users currently navigate through the website or platform, highlighting any bottlenecks, drop-off points, or areas requiring improvement.

Usability Study Findings

The UX observations and pointers provided offer valuable insights into the usability and design issues of the website across various screens and flows. Here's a summary of the key observations and recommended improvements-

Registration Flow
  • Inadequate Margins- The absence of proper margins throughout the application leads to a cramped and disorganized interface, affecting user navigation and content engagement. Adequate margins are needed for visual clarity and content separation.
  • Inconsistent Font Style- Lack of consistent font style disrupts the overall design cohesiveness and readability. Maintaining a consistent font style is essential for visual harmony.
  • Visual Misalignment- Visual misalignment between logos, text, and CTAs compromises the application's visual coherence and navigation clarity. Consistent alignment is needed.
  • Confusing OTP Verification Screen- A dedicated OTP verification screen is recommended to avoid disrupting the user flow and creating confusion.
  • Unnecessary E-verification Dialog Box- The E-verification successful dialog box should be removed, as it is unnecessary.
Home Screen
  • Language Selection and Location Detection- Language selection and location detection features should be incorporated to enhance accessibility and inclusivity for diverse user groups.
  • Inadequate Input Field Height- Insufficient height of input fields can hinder user interaction and comfort. Increasing the height of input fields is recommended.
  • Insufficient Color Contrast in CTA Elements- Low color contrast in CTAs affects their visibility and accessibility, particularly with white text on an orange background. Improving contrast is essential.
  • Cluttered User Interface- Inadequate spacing between sections results in a cluttered user interface, compromising visual hierarchy and readability. Proper spacing is necessary for an organized and user-friendly experience.
  • Missing Profile Edit Option- The absence of a profile edits option limits user control and flexibility, hindering users from updating their personal information and preferences conveniently.
Bus Listing Page
  • Congested UI- Insufficient spacing between bus cards results in a cluttered and overwhelming user experience. Proper spacing is essential for visual clarity and navigation.
  • Lack of Information- Absence of total travel time and seat type information impacts users' decision-making. Providing these details is crucial for informed choices.
  • Redundant 'View Seats' CTA- Simplify the interaction by making the bus card itself clickable, eliminating the need for a separate CTA.
  • Inadequate Filters- Expanding filter options to allow users to refine their search results more precisely is crucial for improving user satisfaction.
Bus Booking Flow
  • Total Payable Amount Display- Displaying the total payable amount after seat selection is essential for transparency and helping users make informed decisions.
  • Missing Boarding Point Time & Drop Point Information- Providing these details is crucial for effective travel planning and navigation.
  • Inadequate Display of Bus Details- Improving the layout and presentation of bus details is necessary for better information accessibility.
  • Absence of Cancellation Policy Information- Including cancellation policy information is essential for users to understand terms and conditions related to cancellations.
  • Inefficient Passenger Details Input Fields- Enhancing the layout and organization of passenger input fields is important to prevent errors and confusion during the booking process.
  • Streamline User Flow- Eliminating the need for a separate passengers list screen and directing users to the payment screen with a comprehensive summary improves efficiency.
  • Inadequate Payment Options- Expanding the range of available payment methods enhances user convenience during the booking process.
  • Payment Transaction Timer- Including a payment transaction timer is essential to provide guidance and reduce user anxiety during the payment process.
Other Screens
  • Terminology Change- Renaming "Ticket Transactions" to "Bookings" improves clarity and communicates the section's purpose more effectively.
  • Available Balance Display- Enhancing the visibility and accessibility of the available balance on the wallet screen is necessary for a smoother payment process.
  • Disabled CTA Affordance- Improving the visual distinction for disabled CTAs ensures users understand their inactive or unavailable status and reduces confusion.
  • Inefficient Use of Screen Space- Optimize screen space usage, especially for messages like "no offer is available," to present content more efficiently.

These observations and recommendations are valuable for enhancing the overall user experience and addressing usability issues across various screens and flows within the website.

Home Screen
Home Screen
Home Screen
Lighthouse Report: Mobile

The current performance level stands at 50 percent, reflecting some areas in need of improvement. The initial rendering of content takes 7.4 seconds (First Contentful Paint) and the display of the largest element takes 7.8 seconds (Largest Contentful Paint), both of which are considered poor. On a positive note, the total time where user interactions are delayed (Total Blocking Time) is 260 milliseconds, showing promise but requiring further optimization. Additionally, there is a slight cumulative layout shift of 0.06. Unfortunately, the Speed Index is quite high at 26.4 seconds, significantly impacting overall performance and contributing to the 50 percent rating.

Lighthouse Report: Desktop

The website's performance metrics reveal a mixed situation. With a 26 percent performance score, slow load times for First Contentful Paint (6.0s) and Largest Contentful Paint (9.2s), as well as a Total Blocking Time of 3,970ms, there's evident room for improvement. The Speed Index at 25.2s underscores the need for faster visual loading. On the positive side, a low Cumulative Layout Shift of 0.017 ensures stable content presentation. Addressing the sluggish load times and reducing blocking time could significantly boost user experience.

These observations and pointers highlight various design and usability issues on the DIC website that can impact user experience. Addressing these concerns through design and content improvements can lead to a more user-friendly and visually appealing website that better serves its audience and clarifies its affiliation with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Synthesizing Phase

User Personas

With the insights gathered during the research phase, we have gained valuable understanding of the users' interactions and challenges while using the application of Pathik UTC Traveller, Uttarakhand. Building on this knowledge, we have now entered the Defining phase, where our aim is to deepen our comprehension and transform the research findings into practical design solutions. To maintain a user-centric approach, we have created personas that embody essential user archetypes-

User Persona 1-Government Official - Tech Enthusiast

Age- 28 Occupation- Tourist

Technology Experience- Moderate

Frustrations

As a frequent traveler and tourist in Uttarakhand, I want to easily access accurate bus schedules, book tickets, and obtain information about tourist destinations, so that I can efficiently plan my trips, especially during peak tourist seasons, and explore the scenic beauty and adventure activities in the region.

Wants and Needs

Sarah is an avid traveler who often visits Uttarakhand for its scenic beauty and adventure activities. She relies on the UTC services for her transportation needs within the state. Her primary goal is to easily access bus schedules, book tickets, and get information about popular tourist destinations in Uttarakhand. Sarah wants a user-friendly and reliable application to plan her trips efficiently, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Persona 2 Name- Raj

Age- 45 Occupation- Local Resident

Technology Experience- Limited

Frustrations

As a local resident of Uttarakhand with limited technology experience, I want a straightforward and easy-to-navigate mobile application to check bus schedules, seat availability, and occasionally book tickets for my daily commute, so that I can rely on public transportation to reduce my carbon footprint without encountering usability challenges or requiring extensive technical knowledge.

Wants and Needs

Raj is a local resident of Uttarakhand who uses UTC services for his daily commute to work and back home. He prefers to use public transportation to reduce his carbon footprint. Raj's main goal is to check bus schedules, seat availability, and occasionally book tickets for his daily commute. He needs a straightforward and easy-to-navigate application that doesn't require extensive technical knowledge.

Mapping the journey to a "user story"

We have chosen to focus on Sarah, a tourist in Uttarakhand, to gain a deep understanding of her specific needs, frustrations, and behaviors while using the UTC mobile application to plan her trips in the region.

After analyzing Sarah's user journey map, we have gained valuable insights into her actions, emotions, and pain points during her interactions with the UTC mobile app. This journey map has been tailored to Sarah's specific needs and objectives as a tourist in Uttarakhand. It illuminated critical touchpoints where Sarah experienced frustrations and identified potential areas for improvement. Based on these observations, we have distilled one of Sarah's key needs into the following user story:

Sarah's User Story

"As a frequent traveler and tourist in Uttarakhand, I want to easily access accurate bus schedules, book tickets, and obtain information about tourist destinations through the UTC mobile app, so that I can efficiently plan my trips, especially during peak tourist seasons, and explore the scenic beauty and adventure activities in the region."

Framing Challenges and Hypothesis

Having analyzed Sarah's user journey, we now turn our attention to formulating a problem statement that encapsulates the challenges she faces when using the UTC mobile app.

Problem Statement

"Sarah, a frequent traveler to Uttarakhand, needs an improved user experience on the UTC mobile application to access bus schedules, book tickets, and explore tourist destinations seamlessly. The current user interface and booking process can be frustrating, especially during peak tourist seasons, hindering Sarah's ability to efficiently plan her trips."

This problem statement will guide our design efforts, ensuring that our solutions directly address Sarah's needs and enhance her overall experience with the UTC mobile app. Building upon this problem statement, we aim to address the challenges faced by Sarah and improve her journey. Through a thorough analysis of user insights and pain points, we have formulated a hypothesis: Hypothesis Statement

"If we redesign the UTC mobile application with an intuitive user interface, streamline the ticket booking process, and provide real-time updates, Sarah's experience will become more efficient and satisfying, allowing her to plan her trips with ease, even during peak tourist seasons." We believe that by addressing the identified challenges and implementing user-centric solutions, Sarah will have a more productive and enjoyable experience while using the UTC mobile application to plan her trips in Uttarakhand.

In the following sections, we will embark on a creative journey to transform these insights into concrete design solutions, focusing on enhancing Sarah's experience when using the UTC mobile application for her travel needs.

Ideation and Exploration Phase

The ideation phase is a crucial stage in any project, where research, brainstorming, and idea evaluation are conducted to generate and assess feasible, viable, and desirable concepts. Here's a brief explanation of each point-

  • Research: Gather data, analyze trends, market conditions, and user needs for project assessment and improvement.
  • Brainstorming: Collaborative, creative idea generation without judgment to encourage diverse concepts regardless of feasibility or viability.
  • Evaluate- Scrutinize generated ideas based on predetermined criteria like feasibility, viability, and desirability.
  • Feasibility Assessment- Evaluate ideas based on available resources, technology limitations, constraints, and risks for implementation determination.
  • Viability Assessment- Analyze market demand, revenue streams, costs, and sustainability to determine financial feasibility and goal alignment.
  • Desirability Evaluation- Assess ideas based on user needs, preferences, usability, and user experience for effective problem-solving.
  • Concept Generation- Research, brainstorming, and evaluation yield diverse concepts as potential pathways for development and refinement.
  • Advancement- Promising concepts meeting feasibility, viability, and desirability criteria are developed further for prototyping, testing, and implementation.

Overall, the ideation phase serves as a critical foundation for the project by generating a range of concepts and evaluating their potential, ensuring that only the most promising ideas are pursued further.

Solutions and Implementation

Outline the specific solutions proposed and implemented based on research findings, detailing design changes, content revisions, or technical modifications.

Validation and Conclusion

  • Usability Study Findings
  • Explain the process of conducting a validation usability study to assess the effectiveness of proposed solutions.

  • Presenting Validation through Analytical Data
  • Describe how the validation results were presented using analytical data to support conclusions and demonstrate improved usability and user experience.

  • Summarizing the Result of Our Intervention
  • Provide a summary of the outcomes and results of the project, emphasizing the positive changes made and the value brought to the target audience.

Our Thoughts and Next steps

Assess data, generate ideas, evaluate solutions, develop action plan, monitor progress, and implement improvements for enhanced usability and user experience. Provide an overview of challenges, research phase, synthesis phase, validation process, and final solutions implemented, highlighting improved usability and user experience.

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