Design Thinking on Urban Go App

After finishing my first exercise, I needed to finish the first challenge for the Prework. It was Design Thinking about a company called UrbanGo App.

Who is Urban Go

UrbanGo is a public transit and mapping startup based in Silicon Valley. Their goal is to solve the problems of urban mobility by offering the quickest and cheapest public and private transport routes to their users.

The Problem

Although the current product of UrbanGo already solves some of the main problems of the urban mobility, there is one pain point for many users: the different amount of public transport tickets the users have to purchase.

Public transport tickets come in paper or plastic cards. Very often buying different public transport tickets is necessary to go from point A to B. And the process of buying these tickets can be very annoying (queues, vending machines that don’t work, etc.).

Finally, things like pricing or purchasing the correct ticket can become a real pain when you are abroad.

Picture from Medium article by Benjamin Hunter Miller


To empathize with the user and their problems, I interviewed five people at the age of 24–40 years old both female and male that used public transportation both in their daily life and when they travel. The group came from different backgrounds and nationalities with different needs for using public transportation.

The questions that I asked are:

  1. “Do you use public transportation?”
  2. “When you travel, do you also use public transportation and could you tell me your experience?”
  3. “Could you tell me what you like/dislike the most about that experience?”


After conducting interviews with users, I gathered some of the major issues users often encounter when they use public transportations especially when they travel abroad.

It is difficult to do the transaction on the ticket machine or cashier in the travel center because of some issues especially when they are abroad:

  1. Queue, users need to queue and sometimes miss the public transportation and need to wait for the next one. This was really time-consuming as most of the time users need to be in their destination at a certain time.
  2. The language barrier, traveling to a new country in which they didn’t understand the language always gave anxiety for users.
  3. Payment options, often than not, users didn’t bring cash for tickets and sometimes, abroad, using the card wasn’t a choice because the card they had weren’t accepted or they had minimum amount of payment.
  4. Travel detail, ticket machines usually didn’t include information about the route, ETA, transportation option, and other detail that would be useful for users.

Users also concerned about buying tickets with an app:

  1. Too many apps to be downloaded; even traveling in the same country, users often needed to download different apps in different cities and different types of public transportation.
  2. Internet problem, some apps needed the data connection to access the ticket that they already purchased or some apps needed a speed data connection, this could occur problems when the user didn’t have an internet connection or had a bad connection.


After the interview and iterated users’ problems and concerns, I came up with some solutions:

  1. One App to go, users concerned about too many apps for different places and transportation. With one app that could provide information for different types of public transportations that could be used in different places. Making it available all around the world would be difficult so I would start with one country, for example, Germany
  2. Language options, some apps only available on its native language, this gives a problem for users, not only when they travel but also as an expat in a foreign country, this problem really bothering in daily life.