IMPROVE THE MOVE

A REDESIGN OF CALTRAIN TICKET STATIONS

How do you buy a train ticket?  You probably use a screen to purchase.  And how would you if you were blind?

Goal:

Improve accessibility for blind passengers when buying a train ticket, specifically for Caltrain.

Skills:

UX Design
User Research

Prototyping - digital

User Testing

PROBLEM

Audio Reliant vs. Screen Use when buying a train ticket

The use of the audio function with no screen took about two minutes in real time.  The clip below is sped up 2x.  The use of a screen took less than 30 seconds.

PRIMARY RESEARCH

Sighted individuals were asked to use only the audio function to buy a ticket.

AT SAN FRANCISCO STATION

Kerri, 35 years old
General Manager at a Fast Food Chain

-unfamiliar with the Caltrain system

-felt no connection between the keypad and audio

-had to pay close attention to audio

Manuel, 35 years old

Software Engineer

-rides Caltrain three times a week

-needed more information about zones

Oleg, 40 years old

Software Engineer

-rides Caltrain once a week

-familiar with the train and ticket station

-finds spacial navigation most painful

Mahesh, 52 years old

VP of Software Engineer

-frustrated with lack of back button

-had to replay the audio

Diego

4 years working for Caltrain

-sends information to train conductors of PNA

-sees about 4 blind passengers a day

-tells blind/visually impaired location of platforms

PHONE AND WEB

James Salas

Deputy Director

New Mexico Commission for the Blind

-be aware of ambient noise

-mic location

KillerLag r/askblind people

Instructor, Orientation and Mobility for the Blind

-older clients may not know how to use new technology

-headphone jacks change

INSIGHTS AND ISSUES

  • Instructions are long, inefficient, and sometimes unclear.

  • Users must pay close attention to audio.

  • A "back" or "cancel" feature is needed.

PERSONAS

David, 62 years old

  • blind since birth

  • does not drive

  • occasionally visits friends in San Francisco 

Jennifer, 35 years old

  • visually impaired, low vision

  • commutes to work at least four times a week

  • works long hours

SOLUTION AND PROTOTYPES

Create a voice user interface that is succinct and clear for both the blind, visually impaired, and sighted.

Map of VUI using Voiceflow tool. Click for detail.

FINAL PRODUCT

AUDIO RELIANT for BLIND

PRO USER for VISION IMPAIRED AND SIGHTED

The screen populates the user's audio as he or she speaks.  The VUI asks for any information needed to purchase a ticket. 

The black, red, and white provide higher contrast for low vision users and keep with Caltrain's branding

FINAL TAKEAWAYS

Voice user interface needs to keep in mind:

  • Responsiveness 

  • Intent of speaker

  • Accent and tone

  • Surrounding environment

Accessibility should not be an afterthought when designing.  It needs to be a natural part of the design process.  The design world is getting there but has not yet arrived.