top of page

BART Kiosk re-design

Duration: 3 Weeks

Team members: Mahtab Namakian and Jingyi Wu

Jingyi's final report:

Week 1: Studying the Existing System

Week 2: Building Specific Persona & Task Flows

Week 3: Wireframes & Usability Testing

Over a 3 week period, my partner and I conducted user research, created paper and digital prototypes of the UI, and performed rounds of usability testing.

The Challenge:

Redesign the Bay Area Rapid Transit's ticketing kiosk interface, Which is one of the transit systems that connects San Francisco to East Bay Area. We were trying to find issues and opportunities by observing people in the BART station. The redesign should not change any physical functions of a BART kiosk, such as existing bottoms and untouchable screen.

First thing we did was to make a list of everything in the station and also a simple Kiosk's Map.

We went to the BART station as a group of 6 and each of us talked to or observed different people. We also go to talk to one the BART agents who recently started working at the BART station, So he shared some of his experiences with us. After wards we all gathered and shared our insights with each other.

Observation Notes and Quotes

1. An old tourist couple came to the kiosks and they didn't know how get their ticket. they started asking us about the directions.

2. I asked two women who were waiting in line about how easy or confusing the process was, and she said to me if you know how it works it will not be a problem.

3. People kept touching the screen assuming that it is a touch screen. There were a lot of finger prints visible on the screen,

4. the "Tap your clipper cards" on the home page was very confusing for first time users

5. the default amount of refill on clipper cards are $20, and If the user wanted less or more they had to add or subtract by $1.

6. Non consistant iconography.

7. no visual Hierarchy.

8. The agent told us that the most problem people come across with is that they don't know that there is a subtract button and they end up adding too much money to they clipper cards.

9."This system is not friendly to traveller."

Current Taskflows

Our Personas

Usability Issues:

  • Old Machines: The novice users thought the kiosk having touch screen.

  • Tedious Work: Buttons were useless

  • Time Wasting: First-time users, such as tourists, feel stuck when they try to use the kiosk.

  • Unclear Guide: The system doesn't have a clear guide for users.

We reviewed the usability issues, and turned some of them in to "HMW" questions.

How might we...

  • How might we let the novice users to use the kiosk without an agent's help?

  • How might we shorten customers' time of using a kiosk?

  • How might we provide a clear guide to our customers?

After this process we came up with new Task flows.

We Developed two different Tasks,

1: Refill Clipper Card

2: Buy One Way Ticket

and from our task flows we developed our wireframes

Wireflow / Buying one-way Ticket

Wireflow / Refill Clipper card

Usability Testing

For Our Usability Testing we went back to BART station and asked people to test our prototype. We Tested our prototype on 6 people.

Sample of our prototype

Changes we made

  1. we were planing on having having a home page, specifically made for new users, which featured a video tutorial of all the steps. But after doing our first round of usability testing, we thought that watching a video might take a long time and since BART users are usually in a hurry they might not even take the time to watch it. Also when we worked with our first time users, they were able to finish their tasks very easily. Therefore, we eliminated our first two pages.

  2. Our second part that was changed, was the screen for choosing the amount that of your tickets. while we were doing our first round of usability testing, on e of our users recommended us to add the destination to our prototype. "You need to put the choices(destinations) they want to go, and they would just click on that instead of putting money in their, that's easier."

After each round of testing, we synthesized our observations and redesigned the interface. Our final design includes a simpler way to choose destination. By having specific pages for choosing destination people don't need to add up the amount they need to add to their tickets.


  • Participants finish the tasks in 1 minutes.

  • Participants don't ask us for help.

Some of the Key Insights

  • They were able to finish tasks in less than a minute.

  • Some of the features that were supposed to be on the kiosks it self were confusing for our users.

  • Easy to use even for first time users.

  • Easy to follow.

  • Suggested adding all the stations and destination.

  • After adding the stations it was easy to find them Alphabetically.

Before After


These past three weeks have been really fulfilling and interesting. We experienced interviewing people when they are in a hurry, and stock people who seemed to have a little time for our usability testing.

This Project was the first complete project I did as an interaction designer, and with it I learned how to do observation, interviews, making task flows, wireframes, wireflows, prototyping, and usability testing. Also I want to thank my partner, because without her it would have been really hard to finish this project. We shared our information and learned from one another.

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page