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Design for Situational Awareness

An Experimental Study
of Habitual Phone Usage
in Public Transports


Project Brief

Our project aimed to increase public awareness of the transit system, particularly among university students, by introducing a new experience for riders. We observed that habitual phone use can create distractions and impact the environment and that individuals are often unable to change these behaviors on their own.

To address this issue, we conducted a controlled experiment in a simulated bus environment. Our idea was to provide riders with TV (featuring a game), free Wi-Fi, and phone notifications to engage them during their commute. Through this approach, we aimed to create a positive experience for riders while also promoting awareness and mindfulness of their surroundings.


To begin our project, we conducted interviews with bus riders to understand their needs and challenges. After the interviews, we used an affinity diagram to analyze the data and identify common themes and patterns. We then developed personas based on the insights gained from the interviews and affinity diagram.

Based on this feedback and the personas, we developed two low-fidelity prototypes. Next, we conducted a cognitive walkthrough process with two participants and a group of UX research experts to identify any potential usability issues with our prototypes. Using this feedback, we then developed a mid-fidelity prototype that incorporated the improvements suggested by our participants.

The mid-fidelity prototype was designed in three distinct parts: an app, a TV set, and notifications. Given the novelty of the idea of having Wi-Fi and TV on the bus, we focused on testing the effectiveness of the core functionality in our mid-fidelity design. We used a quantitative approach to evaluate the effectiveness of our design and for the quantitative study, we used T-test to analyze the data.


Given the novelty of the idea of having Wi-Fi and TV on the bus, we focused on testing the effectiveness of the core functionality in our mid-fidelity design.

While our quantitative results did not provide concrete evidence that riders preferred push notifications via phone over driver's notifications, it's important to note that the number of participants in this part of the study was limited. Therefore, we cannot conclusively approve or reject our hypothesis based on these results alone. However, our qualitative data revealed that the majority of participants expressed a strong preference for push notifications through a mobile app. This suggests that providing this feature could significantly enhance the overall rider experience and engagement.

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Project process - Iterative Human-Centered Study Project Process with Revisiting and Refining the Solution to Meet User Needs Over Time.

Data gathering - Visual Representation of the Process of Transcribing Interviews and Coding Data.

Affinity Diagram - Visualizing Data Analysis Process.

Example Persona - Illustrating User Characteristics and Goals.

Experimental Phase - Simulated Room, Low-Fidelity Prototypes, and User Testing.

Final Prototype - Mid-fidelity App Prototype

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