Introduction, goals and sections
In my quest to become a better user experience designer and during a few free weeks at school, I decided to join forces with fellow UX designer Saskia Rouwette and come up with a personal project to see how far we could push our design skills and develop them even further.
We went through a list of apps and analyzed them to see what they did well, what their shortcomings were and decided the NS Reisplanner (Dutch Railways Journey Planner) would be the perfect fit for this project.
For this redesign, we chose the Android version of the app.
We also agreed on the fact that not having any kind of template and briefing, like our school projects usually do, could help us better frame and understand the issues people might have with an application or service.
The audience for this redesign would be people between 18 and 26 years old who commute every day by train and also use the train for a day out every now and then.
We have chosen this target audience because it was the one we could more easily interview and test with, and because of time constraints.
About the Nederlandse Spoorwegen
The Nederlandse Spoorwegen, also known as Dutch Railways in English, is a public transport company. Whether it comes to daily commute or just a day out, NS wants to make sure people have the best possible travel experience.
The NS Journey Planner has been made with the goal of giving travellers the most up-to-date timetables on their smartphones and on the web. The application can be used not only to go from place to place but also to check for delays and disruptions, giving people the chance to plan their journey accordingly.
Travellers are NS' top priority and so their whole journey, from preparations to arrival, needs to be made as comfortable as possible.
After this brief introduction, let's break down the list of goals for this project.
For the redesign:
- Streamline the process of planning the perfect journey
- Improve screen readability in order to lessen cognitive load
- Improve the user experience by removing clutter and adding delightful micro-interactions
- Give the app an update Material Design look by using the latest guidelines while staying close to NS' current design
Our personal goals:
- Be able to frame issues, understand them and come up with a solution through empathic design and multiple iterations
- Refine our UI design skills and improve our understanding of Adobe XD
- Be able to apply a coherent visual theme and implement design language-specific guidelines
In order to do all of the above while keeping the project manageable for a team of two,
we targeted a very specific flow of the application, namely the planning part, which consists of three main screens:
- Plan your journey
- Search results
- Journey details
During our time working together, Saskia and I shared these roles:
- User researcher
- UX designer
- UI designer
- Motion and interaction designer
Also, during the testing phases, Saskia would ask a few introductory questions, observe and take notes, whereas I would be explaining the tasks to perform to our test participants, observe them and take mental notes.
With this premise in place, let's begin the journey of this redesign.