How we design Live Navigation considering the needs of the user and market

June 25, 2021
4 min
Die Corona-Pandemie hat sich auf fast alle Bereiche des öffentlichen und privaten Lebens ausgewirkt. Auch mit Blick auf die Mobilität hat die Krise für noch nie da gewesene Verhältnisse gesorgt und Entwicklungen beschleunigt, die sich sonst wahrscheinlich erst in einigen Jahren realisiert hätten. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) kann eine Lösung für Mobilitätsanbieter sein, um mit den Folgen der Pandemie umzugehen.
Our research and data-driven team set-up at Mobimeo allows us to build exceptional products which give users a relaxed and convenient mobility experience. Mobimeo has established a platform for everyday mobility and combines multiple services in a single app. Our holistic offering provides a whole range of features, one of which we want to highlight today: Live Navigation. We will explain why this feature is exceptional by displaying the development process we outlined in a previous blog-post.

Author: Anna Fil­by, Dig­i­tal Trainee
Anna is a Dig­i­tal Trainee at Deutsche Bahn with expe­ri­ence in new mobil­i­ty and prod­uct inno­va­tion. In her sec­ond prac­ti­cal post­ing, she worked at Mobimeo in the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Mar­ket­ing team. Anna is con­vinced that under­stand­ing the needs of the user offers a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to redesign the way we move in cities.

The problem we solve 

In Ger­many, peo­ple spend around 80 min­utes a day on the move. They val­ue good ori­en­ta­tion and access to infor­ma­tion  – on all routes (Sources: Mobimeo Mobil­i­ty report 2017; Infas Mobil­ität in Deutsch­land 2017). Fur­ther­more, users want to be accom­pa­nied before and dur­ing their trip, deal­ing with the unex­pect­ed. In big­ger cities, nav­i­gat­ing through pub­lic trans­port can be over­whelm­ing, espe­cial­ly on unknown routes, which results in peo­ple pre­fer­ring their pri­vate car instead of using sus­tain­able mobil­i­ty options like pub­lic trans­port. Addi­tion­al­ly, com­muters val­ue peace of mind on famil­iar and unfa­mil­iar routes. On famil­iar routes, users want to relax and to make sure that they don’t miss their stop. On unfa­mil­iar routes, users want to be guid­ed safe­ly through the unknown.

At Mobimeo we took those insights into account to devel­op a fea­ture that accom­pa­nies users through­out the city when using pub­lic trans­port to offer ori­en­ta­tion and peace of mind.

Arrive relaxed with the Companion, our Live Navigation feature for public transport

The Com­pan­ion accom­pa­nies users reli­ably to their des­ti­na­tion. It not only knows the best con­nec­tion, but also nav­i­gates the user – as a car nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem would – from A to B to C to D. Thanks to proac­tive advice dur­ing the jour­ney users are always well informed and can be sure of find­ing the right way to their des­ti­na­tion. In the event of unex­pect­ed inter­rup­tions, the Com­pan­ion sug­gests the best alter­na­tives and gets users to their des­ti­na­tion quickly.

Mobimeo’s product development process

Our prod­uct devel­op­ment process fol­lows an iter­a­tive design approach, a design mod­el that allows us to get a deep under­stand­ing of user needs and to quick­ly devel­op and test fea­ture pro­to­types. In the fol­low­ing we will give some exam­ples on how we iter­ate our Live Nav­i­ga­tion fea­ture with­in dif­fer­ent steps of the prod­uct devel­op­ment process.

01 Dis­cov­er – Uncov­er basic user needs

The dis­cov­ery phase, also known as explo­ration, is where we uncov­er user needs, explore oppor­tu­ni­ty spaces and inno­va­tion. We con­duct research to co-define the tar­get user and our val­ue proposition.

Let’s have a clos­er look at the tar­get user group of our Live Nav­i­ga­tion fea­ture and the needs that they have. Our research shows that users require a mul­ti­tude of infor­ma­tion on their route. They val­ue live infor­ma­tion when trav­el­ing from A to B using pub­lic trans­port – e.g. about trans­fer pos­si­bil­i­ties and expect­ed arrivals. Users also look for guid­ance, for exam­ple in case of delays of pub­lic trans­port and a proac­tive sug­ges­tion for alternatives.

When we work on uncov­er­ing basic user needs, we are con­stant­ly look­ing for new use cas­es. For exam­ple, we recent­ly con­duct­ed research where we aimed to fur­ther under­stand the needs and pain points that peo­ple have with nav­i­ga­tion when using micro-mobil­i­ty modes (e.g. bikes). We do this to eval­u­ate the poten­tial of live nav­i­ga­tion and the ben­e­fits it could deliv­er to these use cases.

02 Define – In-depth research to under­stand user’s behaviour

In this phase we define our focus and val­i­date our hypothe­ses about user needs and poten­tial solu­tions. Final­ly, we nar­row down ideas into con­crete solutions.

The appli­ca­tion of mul­ti­ple research meth­ods is pos­si­ble in this step. In the case of our Live Nav­i­ga­tion fea­ture, we con­duct­ed some work­shops to val­i­date the val­ue this fea­ture could bring to the users. We used this phase to out­line the user jour­ney in detail to ver­i­fy our under­stand­ing of poten­tial tar­get users and how they would ben­e­fit from using this fea­ture. Fur­ther­more, we used the work­shops to find out whether the Live Nav­i­ga­tion fea­ture real­ly solves the needs and pain points uncov­ered in the pre­vi­ous phase.

03 Devel­op – Ideate and test concepts

With­in the third phase, we ideate and test our con­cepts. Through con­tin­u­ous iter­a­tions, we aim to find the most opti­mal solu­tion based on user needs. Based on the results of our user tests, we pri­ori­tise infor­ma­tion accord­ing to dif­fer­ent criteria.

From feed­back of users we learned about their need to have walk­ing guid­ance to the sta­tions. We took this feed­back away to devel­op dif­fer­ent con­cepts to resolve this need by improv­ing our Live Nav­i­ga­tion fea­ture. Test­ing the dif­fer­ent con­cepts with users helped us to pick the one deliv­er­ing the most val­ue to our users.

Anoth­er exam­ple con­sti­tutes the onboard­ing* of users to the Live Nav­i­ga­tion fea­ture. We went through an iter­a­tion process, which enabled us to go from a “glob­al onboard­ing” to a “con­tex­tu­al onboard­ing” process. The con­tex­tu­al onboard­ing process makes the Live Nav­i­ga­tion mode eas­i­er to access for the user when need­ed. This improved the over­all user expe­ri­ence and enables users more quickly.

*Onboard­ing: but­ton with­in the app which enables the user to switch to the Live Nav­i­ga­tion mode

04 Deliv­er – Test­ing our final product

Right before we launch our prod­uct or new fea­tures in the mar­ket, we con­duct alpha and beta test­ings to ensure that we deliv­er the best pos­si­ble user expe­ri­ence. For this usabil­i­ty research of avail­able fea­tures, we use var­i­ous meth­ods and sources such as in-app feed­back, Mobimeo-inter­nal field trips or crowd testing.

05 Evolve – Fur­ther devel­op our product

After we launch, we dig deep­er into mea­sur­ing impact and suc­cess. With the help of ongo­ing eval­u­a­tions and app ana­lyt­ics, we have the chance to improve and expand our products.

In addi­tion, we receive qual­i­ta­tive feed­back from the users, which we pass on to the oth­er teams involved in the devel­op­ment process. It helps us to fur­ther improve live nav­i­ga­tion and to increase user engagement.

Out­look: In our next episode, we will give some deep­er insights on how we fur­ther inno­vate the Com­pan­ion by explor­ing a turn-by-turn guid­ance com­po­nent. By doing so, we fol­low our vision for Com­pan­ion: to bring peace of mind to mil­lions of users.

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