First, try out two or more of the competitor apps below. Notice how they flow, what they have in common, and what makes them different from each other. Note their strengths and weaknesses.
Moovit: Android app for buses and trains. Citymapper: MTA grand prize winner for app design. (phone not up to date) Transit: Transit information for 125 cities. DC Metro: Regional Android app for the Washington D.C. area. Google Maps: Maps with transit data built-in to the platform. Transit Stop: Coverage of the Chicago area for buses and trains. (phone not up to date)
Next, record your findings in your design journal. For at least one of the apps, document the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities where your app could perform better.
Bold color choices, but no indication why. I can't figure out the difference between a red or blue stop. Swiping I assumed meant "next arrival time" but actually changes the direction of the bus route. The only indicator of direction is the arrow on the map itself for a bus stop, but the icon of the route is the same arrow direction regardless of the route. There is live-updating of where buses are, but they are tagged with a timer that counts up from when the data was last sent, instead of an estimated countdown of arrival time. Some accessibility options like "minimize walking" the option to type out color names, or minimizing transfers (I think? it's called "identify step-free options"). Options to set "home" and "work" and add other custom destinations. You can link your Lyft or Uber accounts. Favorite a stop or a line. Directions for bus, "ridehail" (rideshare with Lyft and Uber), biking, walking. Big "where to?" bar loads first. No ads.
Strengths: Live bus tracking; accessibility options; custom Favorite labels; multiple travel methods
Weaknesses: Meaningless or bizarre labeling/color-coding; non-intuitive navigation and features don't function as expected; unclear differentiation between bus lines or stops
Opportunities: I can focus on UI to make clearer bus stops vs bus lines, add better directional labels, make clearer schedules, change how the live bus tracking is communicated
Yeesh! Search bar suggests searching by "bus stop number or..." and cuts off. The main page is an ENORMOUS scrolling list. You can search for different types of public transit but have to manually switch your search query. You can add a stop to your favorites, but not a route. Very few customizable settings. Ugly. All caps. Ads in the way. Unclear what is a bus stop and what is a route title. Some are labeled with letters, numbers, or punctuation. No search bar to set a destination and get route directions.
Easily the least confusing of the three. "Where do you want to go" search at top. Cutesy location-based city graphic and identifier. Favorites load first for home and work, and you can manually add stops here with a button. No way to customize a stop name. Option to "sync calendar" to add more stops? Estimates walking time to map points. Offers "next arrival" time, plus the "fixed timetables." Bus icon as opposed to other forms of transit icons. Color on the icon with number, then description of bus line. Separates out the bus stops across the street, so you have to favorite both directions i think, which i guess implies you wouldn't need to board on a direction you get off at...; Do I like that or dislike that? hmmmmm
Moovit user flow on Figma
Great for trip planning, with riding and walking estimates and you can put in specific addresses and not just bus stops. Too much information and hard to sort out Favorites if you only use Maps for bus navigation. Buses identified by bus icon, color, number, and route name.