Project ‘TransLink’ is a mobile application which was created based on field research and the goal of TransLink, public transit system of Vancouver. Considering their goals, we designed the app to increase the commuter’s use of transportation by reducing time and increasing the efficiency of their travel.

Brief: Deliver a user journey for TransLink

Deliverables: A visual user journey walking through and Mockups

Objectives: Improve user experience upon the existing TransLink system

Research & Insights

“I was looking for a 7 days transit pass from the ticket machine.”

“I feel like I’m wasting my time when I have to be in a long line to buy tickets.”

We conducted a simple observation of various skytrain stations downtown and adjoining transit areas. Identifying several points of pain (seating issues, way finding, fire safety, ticket machine, etc.), we prepared a set of questions which would help us define the accuracy. People answered to the quantitive and qualitative (open-ended) questions regarding any changes they would like to personally make to the system.

Our Approach

TransLink has a plan set out for the next 30 years. These are broken down into 10 year strips and are governed by 6 broad goals. We focused on Goal 2 which is ‘Most trips are by transit, walking and cycling’. We set an aim to increase the commuter’s use of transportation by reducing time and increasing the efficiency of their travel.

While we did our research, we found out that TransLink would start new electronic transit pass system called ‘Compass’. The current ticket machines were going to be more for tourists. In this case, we needed to upgrade the software program so that the tourists could buy 7 days pass, etc. with the ticket machines. The reason we couldn’t buy those tickets at the ticket machines was to prevent the locals buying and using it. Since TransLink decided to start new electronic card system, it didn’t need to keep the work like that anymore.

Initial Concept

We did a few hours of brainstorming. From there, we got several opportunities such Zone issues, Speed & Efficiency, Things which would make TransLink unique, valuable, memorable, comfort and hopefully revamp and improve the system. After discussing on severals prototypes of each opportunity, we could come up with one.


We compacted all the interviewees into 3 believable personas who represented our general target audiences: local student, professional and tourist. Since we only interviewed 2 tourists out of 20 people, we narrowed down our personas to student and professional.

Julie (20), Single Student

“I like to go traveling and meeting people.”

David (37), Office Manager, has a wife and 2 children

“An active mind requires an active lifestyle.”


Since the App’s most important 2 pieces of information are ‘Scannable Codes’ and ‘Schedule for Public Transportation’, we quickly sketched out how the App would look like and put those points as main. For the accurate transit info, TransLink’s Twitter feeds will be shown on home screen.

Final Solution

We came up with a mobile application that would work the same as a Upass/ Monthly Pass/ Transfer Transit Pass/ Transit Pass. The App should act as a substitute for a pass, so that for example, when a user forgets his pass at home, he won’t have to worry because he can have a receipt/ QR code on his phone that skytrain police can check if they decide to stop him. He can also show it to the bus driver if he is going by bus. We also played with the idea of having a part of it that is scannable just in case introducing scanners in the bus and at the skytrain.

The App doesn’t affect people who rather have a card or people who want to have their transit passes. It is a good option to have the App for those who would rather have in on one device and cut down their paper waste.

Secondary features to solve other issues were Maps & Schedules. There were no Vancouver Apps. There were general big city Apps that included Vancouver and to make it worse, they only included Van, not Burnaby, Richmond, North Van, Surrey, etc.

Our App could solve this problem as our secondary problem but it would also increase comfort by reducing time and frustration.


Final Designs