Information System Design for Buses
  • project-info-title
  • overview

    overview

    BEST is the largest organized bus transport network among major Indian cities that caters to roughly 5-6 million commuters everyday. BEST is one of the oldest organisations of the country and since then has been relentlessly serving all segments of the population. Today, even though digital has deeply penetrated our lives, this lifeline still operated on manual methods of communication. BEST last year took up this mammoth task of creating a Bus Information System that leverages the power of mobility and digital tech to deliver real time information of Buses.

  • brief

    brief

    Getting to Design something which has potential to change the behavior of people at such scale is rare. It has ability to change the way people look at public transport in the city which is a huge infrastructural change that had never been undertaken in the online medium.

    BEST commissioned Fractal Ink to study the existing state of information systems in the city and come up with an effective mobile app which will keep people better informed about the system.

    The brief was simple, how can we bring convenience to the users by capturing real time data from the bus and delivering it to the commuters. The biggest challenge was to build a roadmap which can slowly get entrenched into the system and in peoples day to day lives.

  • challenge

    challenge

    There were two fold challenges that were glaringly visible, one, BEST today caters to the lowest strata of commuters to traverse through the city at minimum costs and in time, how to develop a design and communication system which can cut across all segments of population and second, how to change the mindset within an organization to run such a system that is bound to change the way they current operate internally.

    We were surprised by the sheer reactions we got. Right from crowding, to ill information at the bus stops, from condition of the buses to inconsistencies in information available through various sources online.

    Therre were other system level problems which bus drivers and conductors faced. Like lost property management, peoples misbehavior, working conditions in such weather and crowd, response from the system during emergencies.

  • strategy

    strategy

    Unlike many design disciplines, Digital communication design is a living organism. It has the allowance for people to learn and also gives system an allowance to improve based on behavior.

    Deep rooted User centric processes in design helped us solve real problems and not just digitization of information. The real reflections from people and system helped us build an online system which makes a real difference in their lives. Early feedback mechanisms and testing showed us the power that real time information has in the way people decide things in their lives.

  • innovation

    innovation

    BEST new information system was build with latest AI tech which gives design an edge over others to improve itself with time. It improves communication and personalizes it as per the individual using it. Whether it is to help person wake up before her/his stop because of the sleepy nature or build alarms for forgetful behavior.

    BEST Pravas is an app that is designed to breathe fresh life into the lifeline of Mumbai.

    Designed for users across a spectrum of education levels and economics, the app is simple and intuitive.

    We did not only designed the app but build a whole design system, so that in the coming times its scalable and adaptable to any situation.

MOBILE ONLY APPROACH

MOBILE ONLY APPROACH

The platform was designed only for mobile phones. This was a conscious decision based on user research and we recommended the focus to be shifted entirely on building mobile only app which should harness all the capabilities of this device to deliver experience

Solving for most obvious problems first

Solving for most obvious problems first

First rule of acceptance from the user community is to build on solving known problems most effectively. We looked at our research and the ambiguity in peoples mind while standing at the bus stop is the biggest reason for discontentment with the services. It was important while designing that we put all our energies to bring about clarity in commuters mind as to what is best for them to travel with least amount of effort

super intuitive and vernacular language friendly

super intuitive and vernacular language friendly

The results appear in know google cards like fashion that are very visual and extremely easy to understand. Each card shows the duration of the ride, connections needed and walk times to destination, along with the estimated time of arrival. An unprecedented piece of information is how crowded each bus is an important factor to help decide whether she should take this bus or wait for the next one.

future planning for a scalable design system

future planning for a scalable design system

The information design system borrows approaches from communication design discipline and builds a robust and a scalable design mechanics which will allow BEST to expand its digital services to phygital spaces seamlessly

PROGRESSIVE ENHANCEMENT

PROGRESSIVE ENHANCEMENT

We made sure that the app works for the lowest common denominator but doesnt disappoint an advanced user. While most functions are made to satisfy the immediate need, the app also has advanced modes where you can plan itineraries, build route plans and use it as a complete travel planning tool within the city

INK'D

WITH THOUGHT AND CARE

  • SEARCH FOR THE BEST

    The most important function for a user is to search for buses. This feature is placed upfront and enables the user to search by destination or by the route number if she knows it.

    It also allows for repeat users to perform functions on existing or frequently travelled routes to reduce keyboard entry or typing while standing in a crowded set up. TAP and GO.

    SEARCH FOR THE BEST
  • SEARCH RESULTS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PAGE

    This page and organization of data on the module is the most important part of the design exercise. We labored hard to capture all the nuances of decision making in a single capsule that can be consumed in least amount of time

    The results appear in cards that are very visual and extremely easy to understand. Each card shows the duration of the ride, connections needed and walk times to destination, along with the estimated time of arrival.

    An unprecedented piece of information is how crowded each bus is an important factor to help decide whether she should take this bus or wait for the next one.

    SEARCH RESULTS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PAGE
  • BUILT FOR LANGUAGE SPECIFIC AND MORE IMPORTANTLY LANGUAGE AGNOSTIC

    The app was designed for Hindi and English to start with bit it primarily was aimed to be language agnostic. The whole interface relied mostly on icons and standard number displays which everybody is familiar with. This allowed the interface to work with all segments irrespective of the app language

    BUILT FOR LANGUAGE SPECIFIC AND MORE IMPORTANTLY LANGUAGE AGNOSTIC
  • DESIGNED FOR DEEPER INTERACTION FOR ROUTE PLANNING AND ITINERARY BUILDING

    The app allows for future planning too. The users can choose the date and time they want to travel and the app will show up all the bus routes that match the requirements.

    They can deep dive further to see the exact times of arrival for each bus, look at the entire timetables or explore the best routes with the help of maps.

    It also can work as a planning app for tourists around in the city in case they are looking to save money on local travel.

    DESIGNED FOR DEEPER INTERACTION FOR ROUTE PLANNING AND ITINERARY BUILDING
  • EMBEDDED WITH LIGHTER FUNCTIONALITIES IN RESPONSE TO SOME DEEP BEHAVIOR NUANCES

    The user research revealed many small little frustrations that commuters go through during travel, like missing a bus stop, loosing valuables etc.

    The app is laced with functions such as alarms to wake the user up before their stop if users takes a snooze while travelling, or report and recover things left behind in a bus - the app has many other features to provide delight and make the lives of over 5 million users easier everyday!

    EMBEDDED WITH LIGHTER FUNCTIONALITIES IN RESPONSE TO SOME DEEP BEHAVIOR NUANCES
  • DARK MODE TO SAVE BATTERY AND PROVIDE BETTER VISIBILITY

    While many of the older apps are still getting on to Dark mode, BEST app was designed for dark mode natively. It allowed users with Visibility impairment to switch to this high contrast mode right from day one.

    DARK MODE TO SAVE BATTERY AND PROVIDE BETTER VISIBILITY
meter-reading
  • cups of <span class='cm-line-break'>coffee</span> 0 cups of coffee
  • blinks per <span class='cm-line-break'>hour</span> 0 blinks per hour
  • laptop <span class='cm-line-break'>charges</span> 0 laptop charges
  • social gatherings <span class='cm-line-break'>ignored</span> 0 social gatherings ignored
  • hours of <span class='cm-line-break'>travel</span> 0 hours of travel
  • aditya-birla-payment-banking cover image

    Banking forthe Unbanked

    Complete Digital ecosystem for a Payment Bank

    aditya-birla-payment-banking logo
  • voot cover image

    A WORLD OFENTERTAINMENT

    OTT APPLICATION FOR VIACOM 18

    voot logo
  • ddecor cover image

    Helping you to Live beautiful

    Omnichannel experience design for DDecor

    ddecor logo
  • vistaar cover image

    PLAN WITH CLARITY. SELL WITH CONFIDENCE. TRACK RESULTS WITH CONSISTENCY AND EASE.

    PRICING SOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE COMPANY PROFITABILITY

    vistaar logo