Map apps intended for motorists fail to address cyclists' chief concern: mortal peril. The Road Less Traveled was designed to help riders of all persuasions arrive alive.
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The majority of respondents (73%) used Google Maps to plot their routes. Google's routes favor bike lanes, but are often out of the way, unduly expose cyclists to traffic or are otherwise unsuitable.
The other cycling mapping apps (Strava, Ride with GPS) required the user to plot her/his own route and/or use Google's API.
Based on the research, the user persona, her goals and pain points were easy to define:
How might we provide our user with a mobile app to safely navigate the city on her bike?Routes generated should meet the following criteria:
Thinking about the user journey (both literal and figurative) helped define the scenarios of use, the task flows, feature set and interface design:
Before setting out, going to and from both routine and new locations.
She will also want to consult the app while in transit to check her progress and make sure she is on track.
She will want quick access to locations that are part of her regular routine (home, work, school, etc.). She will also want the app to be aware of her current location.
Although she may consult the app indoors initially (i.e., with access to a desktop computer or tablet. However, she will most often be on the street on a mobile device (phone).
The interface therefore should be as simple and compact as possible, and interactions should be easy to perform with one hand (or wearing gloves).
While in transit, it might be awkward or inadvisable to consult her phone visually. Audio directions triggered by her location should be an option.
Save, retrieve and share routes.
Locate points of interest.
The app feature set for the MVP (Minimun Viable Product) was determined using the MoSCoW method:
Usability testing in low-fi confirmed generally strong heuristics. However, icons without text were open to creative interpretation.
Subsequent design rounds further clarified, simplified and refined the overall presentation:
Subsequent design rounds further clarified, simplified and refined the result presentation. Test subjects expressed a desire to see additional information on the map (e.g., bike shops on the route) and in the summary (estimated travel time). These may be addressed in subsequent releases.