Because a Bike Lane Does Not Always a Bike Route Make

While bicycling has exploded in popularity in New York City, finding safe and appropriate routes from point A to B remains problematic.

User Research

An online survey of qualified subjects and in-person interviews revealed a great deal about cyclists' behavior, attitudes, concerns and preferences:

Comparative/Competitive Analysis

The majority of respondents (73%) used Google Maps to plot their routes. Google's routes favor bike lanes, but are often out of the way, unduly expose cyclists to traffic or are otherwise unsuitable.

The other cycling mapping apps (Strava, Ride with GPS) required the user to plot her/his own route and/or use Google's API.

Synthesis, Persona and Problem Statement

Based on the research, the user persona, her goals and pain points were easy to define:

How might we provide our user with a mobile app to safely navigate the city on her bike?
Routes generated should meet the following criteria:

Design Process: User Journey and Task Flows

Thinking about the user journey (both literal and figurative) helped define the scenarios of use, the task flows, feature set and interface design:

When and where will our persona use the app?
How will these scenarios of use impact the UX design?
Besides plotting routes, what else will our user want/need to do?

Task flow for selecting starting point. Selecting destination offers the same "Enter New/Use Saved" options. Once destination has been entered the "Let's Ride!" (Go) button is enabled.

Design Process: Form Follows Function

The app feature set for the MVP (Minimun Viable Product) was determined using the MoSCoW method:


Usability Testing and Design Iterations

Usability testing in low-fi confirmed generally strong heuristics. However, icons without text were open to creative interpretation.

Subsequent design rounds further clarified, simplified and refined the overall presentation:

view prototype

Subsequent design rounds further clarified, simplified and refined the result presentation. Test subjects expressed a desire to see additional information on the map (e.g., bike shops on the route) and in the summary (estimated travel time). These may be addressed in subsequent releases.