Ride Transit App   

Ride is an all service transit app designed for iOS that consolidates planning trips and checking nearby transportation options using Seattle public transit ridership as a point of reference and research.  

My Role

User Research, Personas, Wireframes, Prototypes, User Testing, Interface Design, Branding, Icons

Tools Used

Illustrator, XD, Sketch, Invision


11 weeks


Kaitlyn Castellow


Public transportation ridership is growing. Currently, tasks like planning trips and checking transit times are poorly implemented or spread across multiple platforms which wastes time and energy. 


Find ways to combine features in various transportation apps into one simple to use system and find new means of interaction to save user's time.


Public transportation ridership is growing, yet most riders rely on multiple apps to plan trips and check arrival times. Ride is an all-service transportation app aimed at consolidating and streamlining tasks related to using public transportation. 

"Public transportation products and services add value throughout King County and facilitate access to jobs, education, and other destinations.” – King Count Metro 2015 Strategy Report 

Research and Discovery

Ridership Research
During the research phase, I did a deep dive into King County Metro’s ridership data and trends. Below are the key takeaways: 

55% of Seattleites ride public transit.

King County Metro’s ridership continued to grow, reaching a new all-time high of 122 million passenger trips in 2015.

Work and school are the most common destinations for riders

“Choice Riders" are the majority. These riders have other options for transportation such as walking, driving, or cycling, but choose to ride public transit.  

Mobile apps and online sources are the most common things used to find timetable information.

Next I surveyed public transit riders in Seattle to gain further insight on Interviewing and surveying numerous users helped us to establish major pain points, key features, and find out what they currently use to plan their public transit trips. Below are the key takeaways: 

The majority of participants ride public transit either everyday or a few times a month.

Work, school, and social engagements were the most common reasons to use public transport.

Google Maps & OneBusAway were the most popular apps used for planning trips

A lack of clarity on if  or why a bus is running late via apps and timetables was a major frustration for users.

Service changes and cancellations are often not communicated through apps and riders don’t find out until they reach their stop.


Age: 25
Lives: First Hill
Work: Sales Rep

Salary: $55,000/yr

Stephanie has recently moved from out of state, and now lives and works in the city of Seattle. She relies on public transit for her primary source of transportation for almost all of her travel in the city. Due to her job as a Sales Representative she travels within the city to meet with her vendors and needs to plan her routes on the fly, so that she can get to where she needs to be on time with the least amount of hassle.

Age: 30

Lives: Ballard
Work: Tech
Salary: $85,000/yr

George has lived in Seattle for his entire life and voluntarily uses Seattle public transit has his main form of transportation for work. Even though he has other options, he opts to use transit since he finds it to be convenient and doesn’t like to deal with sitting in traffic during rush hour. His ridership is very consistent, and he tends to take the same route daily. George is also travels out of town monthly and often relies on the lightrail to get himself to and from the airport.

Age: 68
Lives: Queen Anne
Work: Retired
Salary: $40,000/yr

Martha is a busy recent retiree. She does not rely on public transport for her daily needs and errands, but likes to use transit to head downtown to enjoy the city, and occasionally takes the ferry over to Bainbridge island to visit friends. Since she rides infrequently, she often needs to plan trips whenever she heads out. Security is also a concern for her, and she prefers to know about the safety of a route or particular stop.

Prototypes and Whiteboarding

Rapid Prototyping Exercise
The scope of this app could really be quite large. After our research and survey we determined that the most important tasks to solve for were planning an A to B destination, and finding and favoriting nearby route. To get our ideas started we began with a timed prototyping exercise, spending a timed 10 minutes to design rough paper flows. 

We then tested this prototype with 2 users. The bottom nav proved to be confusing and unclear in functionality. Also, while the users could complete the tasks with relative ease, there is was a disconnect between the two living within the same application.

Next we moved into whiteboarding to establish key tasks, interaction, and architecture. At this point we were able to take our insights from our quick prototyping session and flesh them out.

Prototype v2
Kaitlyn and I created another clickable prototype in XD to test with users. Users had a fairly easy time finding nearby stops, checking arrival times, favoriting, and planning a route from point A to B. Ultimately, the majority of these tasks had a currently existing model, and more effort needed to be put into expanding these concepts.

Prototype v3
For the third round of prototyping we added clarity for arrival times and created additional favoriting and route reversal functionality related to stops and routes. A street view feature was added for users interested in viewing a stop more clearly to add a level confidence and security.

Style Guide

As we moved towards a final solution, I further established a contemporary and clean style guide, logo, and icon suite. I choose colors that were bright so that they would work well as call outs in the interface design.  

Final Solution

After three rounds of user testing, we found that the major pain point surrounding the uncertainty of late buses still needed a resolution. We added a crowdsourcing feature so that users would have an opportunity to better understand why their transit option was running late and could thus plan accordingly. For the final solution I created the screens and assets in Sketch. Below is a video walkthrough of Ride that Kaitlyn animated.