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Sound Transit (ST), officially the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority, is the largest rail public transit agency in the U.S. state of WashingtonIn this crucial project.

  • I overhauled the daily work experience of fare checkers by designing a comprehensive mobile app that simplified their tasks
     

  • Designed a dashboard for managers and executives to enhance the management of fare checkers.
     

  • Laid the foundation for the brand identity and design principles of future enterprise mobile apps in ST

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As the lead product designer I spearheaded all the Collaborative efforts with the project manager to ship the product with all the necessary approvals in 3 months. 

My Role : Lead Product designer and researcher
UX researcher : Katie Navidi
Project Manager : Daniel Thiel
Innovation and Passenger Technology Manager : Suzanne Schrek

Accessibility Services

Legal and general counsel

Information security

Equity and Inclusion

Comms and Makerting

Technical Operations

Records 
Management

The primary users are fare checkers who check for fares everyday for 161,000+ riders who use Sound Transit’s transport services every week

Secondary users are the managers and supervisors of the fare checkers who manage their schedules , shifts and day-to-day task.

 

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Fare checkers are responsible for fare checking across
all of Sound Transit's transit services and partner services

 

Fare checkers are additionally tasked with the responsibility of reporting any facilities and maintenance issues, as well as promptly reporting any security incidents.

  • Users are compelled to utilize 6+ disparate vendor applications, creating significant operational complexities.

  • A lack of streamlined procedures for reporting security and equipment maintenance issues led to delayed resolutions and increased security risks.

  • Users were constrained to employ rudimentary and manual methods, such as Online Forms and Excel sheets, to record fare inspection data.

  • Due to inefficient data management, managers and supervisors encountered substantial challenges in managing personnel

Below is the user workflow before the UX changes highlighting the cluttered processes,  multiple vendor applications , manual data entry and managing data stored in multiple repositories.

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  • Introduced a unified application to replace multiple disparate apps, streamlining various workflows.

  • Implemented a robust dashboard that aggregates data collected through the application, simplifying data management and personnel oversight for managers.

Below is the new user workflow post the UX changes highlighting the streamlined processes,  unified applications , multiple automations and unified data repositories.

Fully Automated

Semi Automated

Manual

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THE PROCESS

 I collaborated closely with the project manager In the initial research stages, to meticulously formulate the comprehensive project plan and timelines. To meet the ambitious 3 month delivery timeline, we engineered a tailored process, seamlessly blending  Agile and Lean UX principles. This process involved the simultaneous execution of design and development sprints, a strategic parallel approach essential to achieving the project's extremely compressed timeline.

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In the research phase I conducted

Observational studies
For an entire day, I donned the role of a fare checker and closely shadowed senior professionals in the field. This unique experience allowed me to truly live through their daily challenges, empathizing with their pain points.

Additionally, I conducted the below research in a week.


User Interviews
I conducted user interviews with supervisors and managers to understand their pain points in managing personnel and data


Focus Groups
Finally I conducted a focus group with the fare checkers to uncover additional pain points to supplement the findings of the observational studies.

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Observational Study at Northgate Station

Gearing up for my shift in Angel Lake Station

Facilitating focus groups to understand user painpoints

Led and facilitated three dynamic brainstorming sessions, including one dedicated to scrutinizing the technical feasibility of the designs. This process yielded viable, low-effort, high-impact solutions for addressing more than 30 distinct pain points.

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I crafted 52 mobile and dashboard screens, fine-tuning them through multiple design reviews to ensure top-notch user experience. Additionally, I developed a pattern library for enterprise mobile apps, adhering to the design system. Being the first in-house enterprise mobile application at Sound Transit was a notable feat.

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Beth Hamby -
Senior Program manager

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Data that does not change frquently is collected in the
initial screens

Data that changes
frequently is collected in the forthcoming screens while data from previous screens flows into the header for maintainging context

Review screen to check if any changes are to be made for primary data (data that does not change much) , if no changes then users are led to the screen that with data that changes frequently

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GPS backed 
location and 
station info.

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Last checked timings for train cars

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The enterprise design system is primarily geared towards web applications, so I had to create a pattern library for enterprise mobile apps. The fare-checking app was the first in-house enterprise mobile app for Sound Transit, and it set the foundational frameworks for a design system specific to mobile apps in Sound Transit..
 

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Collaborated synergistically with UI designers to conceive and craft illustrations, enhancing the visual identity and user experience

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Due to developer resource constraints, I, a designer with a robust technical acumen, stepped in to bolster the front and back-end development of the app. My involvement extended from architecting the fundamental data dictionary to meticulously crafting the front-end CSS, illustrating my commitment to overcoming adversity and achieving our user goals.

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As a designer deeply committed to accessibility, I proactively ensured that the app I designed went beyond mere compliance with WCAG guidelines. I meticulously addressed nuanced aspects of accessible design by conducting comprehensive usability studies with individuals with disabilities.

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Usability Study with Fare Checkers

Accessibility study with 
Low-Vision user

Accessibility study with 
Wheelchair user

Shipped a Mobile app and Dashboard in just 3 months

Saved $70 Million saved in vendor application expenditure


Time to complete task reduced by 63%

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