Coach USA Mobile App Redesign

Redesigning the UI of a heavily used mobile app that sits at 1.9 / 5 Stars on the App Store

Project Overview

With over 10,000 daily commuters using the CoachUSA mobile app as their mode of transportation into the NYC Metropolitan Area, the app has been criticized often for lacking in functionality.

​Currently sits at 1.9/5 stars in the App Store.

The Redesign was focused on the concept of returning to basic form and function. The current app is cluttered and confusing. Outdated and problematic, I set out on building a new design system using the shades of blues and greyscale that are currently offered in the previous app.

Role

UX Research, UX Design, System Design, UX Content Strategy

Mission

Fix Usability Issues
Redesign Mobile
Create New Design System

Timeline

October 2021
(V.1 - 4 Weeks)
January 2022
(V.2 - 4 Weeks)

Team

Steven Witmer: UX Mentor
Bill Kurland: Content Strategy Mentor

Coach USA UX Case Study

Exisiting Problems
& Issues

When Orbit, CoachUSA's parent company, came out with a mobile app,
many commuters downloaded the app out of convenience.  ​

Many commuters arrive at bus stops where buying tickets are not even possible. Hence, the app allows anyone with a wifi signal to buy them on their mobile device, HOWEVER...

​The Coach USA Mobile App doesn't consider the fact that most commuters returning home are in transit on a subway line underground where there isn't any wifi. This means the new redesign needs to limit the time it takes to buy a ticket to store it in your digital wallet.

Current App Experience

Pain Points
  • Fails Accessibility in Color Contrast
  • Outdated UI
  • Fonts of Varied Weights
  • Payment System Outdated
  • Switching from One Way to Round Trip doesn't reset tickets
  • Unnecessary UI components like "Stops you can board/depart"
Solution
  • Singular Design System
  • Simplified UI
  • Quick and Easy Payment Solution

Discovery
- Research

When starting this project I thought about all the modes of transportation I used when the bus wasn't running that day. For an entire month, I took different routes into the city to see how convenient, consistent and cost-effective they were. These are my findings on relevant commuter types. Right below are competitors.​

User Types: Commuters

  • Current Coach Commuters
  • Alternative Modes of Transportation User(Amtrak, NJTransit)
  • Former Coach Commuters(Stopped Using)

Competitors Research: Testing Size

NJ Transit / Amtrak

Price: Comparable ~$18/19Time:
56 Min - 1 HR 6 Min
Consistency: Every 15 Min​

Pros: No Traffic, Work Space, Parking Lot
Cons: Time-Intensive, 2nd Train needed

RideShare / Taxi

Price: 6X ~$100 - $112
Time: 34 Min - 36 Min
Consistency: On-Call

Pros: Comfortable, Work Space, Leisurely Pace,
Good for Groups
Cons: Expensive

Preliminary Research

Our research shows that Port Authority in Time Square handles the transportation of 8,000 buses and 225,000 commuters daily. CoachUSA carves out 10,000 users of that massive pie. With the pandemic, the number has shed to 6,000 users serviced by Coach. The only research method deemed fit for this exercise is through conducting interviews.

​How I Conducted my Interviews
For our Interviewing Process, I collected data in person at 3 of the largest hubs of transportation into NYC: Secaucus Junction, Penn Station, and Port Authority. Listed below are the relevant details that were recorded to concise down our pain points in terms of priority.

CoachUSA interview insights

Preliminary Research Takeaways

After interviewing 30 commuters across different transportation hubs, I realized that the main theme was consistency. Commuters understand the age-old debate on would you rather have consistency vs comfortability.

Let's Talk Opportunity

Remember that awful business class where the professor asked you about your SWOT or Porter's forces model? Not applicable here. Our redesign is focused on not being the best in any one section. We are striving for a better product. With the fastest delivery time from starting point to destination, our focus is eliminating waste in the mobile app.

Current Ticket Buying Experience

Imagine this scenario. ​

It's been a long day at work and you just want to get back home. You are in a subway line and are trying to buy a ticket. Wi-Fi and Cellular are going in and out.​

Every time the app lags out, you are one step further from getting home. Commuting apps should make your life more convenient, not a nuisance.​

Below is the proposed change to the UI.

Proposed Ticket Buying Experience

Wary about the Wi-Fi issues of the MTA, we wanted to automate the process and eliminate waste wherever we could. ​

From User Input, we wanted to fix certain aspects of the process.

  • Map Use
  • Passenger Type UI
  • Connecting to Apple Pay
  • One main cognitive load vs mini loads

On average, we were able to save 50 seconds to buy a ticket.  

Proposed Ticket Buying Experience

Final Designs

Next Steps

CoachUSA is far from delivering a great product but with the renovations underway for the MTA, LaGuardia, and JFK, the mobile app in 2022 can serve as a benchmark for future growth in their commuting experience.

​With a focus on eliminating screens and waste, we can focus on creating a seamless experience that gets commuters to and from work back in the comfort of their homes.​

Check out my other work here


Kenko Mobile App(UX) | Stories Mobile App(UX) | Tiltshift Campaign(Esports)