Challenge 1: Design Thinking

Adrien Derreal
3 min readApr 12, 2021

Citymapper is a public transport app and mapping service which displays transport options, usually with live timing, between any two locations in a supported city. It integrates data for all urban modes of transport, including walking, cycling and driving, in addition to public transport. It is free of charge to users, and is supported by a mobile app on devices such as mobile phones, and by an internet website. (wikipedia)

Citymapper operate into the MaaS sector. Maas (Mobility as a service) is in full expansion thanks to the new stakes of technology/innovation concerning transports and urbanism. This new concept provide an approach of mobility mixing public/private and individual/collective offers. Nowaday applications can deal with a lot a data and suggested multi-modal solutions to propose more accurate journeys.

The issue with multi-modal is that you have to deal with commuting. It means optimizing the sequence of transport and as well as ticket and payement. It multiplies the operations.

I interviewed 5 persons of my environment, selected according 2 cross criteria:

  • smartphone owner
  • public transport user

I conducted a quantitative and open qualitative interview to collect insight about citymapper and commuting:

  • everyone knew about the application
  • everyone had already use it
  • everyone found it easy and efficient
  • 3/5 regreted the lack of purchasing feature on the app
  • 3/5 are pass users

2 main issues:

  • too many tickets to cary /their pass is not covering every transport modes
  • No fluidity during payement/refill process
Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

To avoid stress and frustration companies are developing solutions to gather every kind of tickets and subscriptions in a same support. Citymapper implemented this project in london. This pass/card allow the user to get rid of repetitive and time consuming purchases of tickets.

Thanks to the NFC (Near Field Communication), they can go further on and connect the physical pass to the mobile device of user. It allows them to implement new features. Previously you needed to reload your card by going to the ticket machine. What if we could directly pay on our smartphone with the app and refill directly our pass from anywhere? The only things still to do is holding your card near your device few seconds. Serenity at a finger tip!

Here is a low-definition prototype I made to show the process. It definitely has to be quick, intuitive, secured and flexible. People must feel confortable and confident in using new features. It has been designed to be fully integrated into the well-known existing application, as one simple more step towards the user’s path. It provides alternatives to any cases: QR code and refill in station

If you loose your card, you still have a proof of payement on your phone!

I showed the prototype to the interviewed person to test it. It seemed to have had a good perception. The user’s path is clear. The finger print allow to have a quick and secure access to speed to the payement. Users found convenient and logic to use it in the same time as an itinary search, showing evidence of correct integration in the former application.

At this time the smartphone can’t replace the Citymapper pass because every transport isn’t able to support NFC technology. It’s just a matter of time! It will certainly be the stake in the close future



Adrien Derreal

Communication consultant, fan of multimedia creations and future UX/UI designer