A worry-free ride for Melburnians
Four in ten Victorians say they would be encouraged to cycle, or cycle more often, to local services within 3km of where they live, if the cycling network was safer and better connected and if it provided a lower-stress experience.*
Poor cycling infrastructure in Melbourne makes it difficult and discouraging to ride a bike. How might we improve navigation for cyclists in Melbourne so that they feel comfortable riding a bike?
A combination of quantitative and qualitative was conducted to lay a foundation for our design solution.
We reached out to Melbourne-based cyclists within the community through face-to-face interviews and by posting an online survey on cycling channels such as Facebook groups. A common frustration of most people was the lack of infrastructure (no bike lanes or inconsistent) which makes them feel vulnerable. Because of that, most cyclists plan a route in advance on their phone, mostly via Google Maps. But the frustration here is, even though you can select ‘bike’ as mode of transport, it doesn’t consider the existence/quality/consistency of bike lanes.
Once we’ve collected our research, it was time to synthesise our findings through empathy and affinity mapping.
Who are we designing for?
The research clearly identified two personas with different needs. Lucy is an occasional cyclist and riding is simply a way of transport for her. Her main concern is to get to her destination in safety and with comfort. Andy, on the other hand, is a recreational rider and commuter who likes to participate in cycling races on the weekend. He is annoyed by the slow cyclists on bike paths and too many traffic lights, because his average speed on Strava will instantly drop.
Now that the persona profiles are established, we looked more specifically at their daily journey to empathise with them and map out every step in this process to identify opportunities for our solution.
We listed all the opportunities that we distilled from our research and compared that with competitor services. In this way, we could easily find gaps in the existing offering and identified opportunities for our design solution.
Our user flows are the first step towards designing a solution. We look at our personas and start drawing out different navigation pathways in our digital environment. As our users are obviously on-the-go, we decided to create an app instead of a website.
Wireframes and prototypes
From the user flows we set up the information architecture and started drawing different interfaces and connected these.
The usability testing gave us incredibly valuable feedback. From the positioning of a navigation button to copy of certain actions, and some missing features (that we can test in some additional research) such as a Siri function and enlarging the map when riding.
Melbike is a navigation app for cyclists in Melbourne. It offers real-time road and traffic information and can be customised to your cycling needs. The ultimate goal is to make Melburnians feel more confident and safe while riding.
Each riding can set up their own profile that includes preferences such as ‘minimal no. of traffic lights’, ‘bike lanes all the way’, ‘street lights in the evenings’ etc. It also offers and audio feature, so you will be navigated through traffic without looking on your phone. The sound will only be enabled for 1 ear for safety reasons.
Empathy and Affinity Mapping
*Victorian Cycling Strategy 2018-2028 report