Transportation App: KRL Access Redesign — UI/UX Case Study
I have been using KRL since 2016. From what I have seen and experienced myself, the development of KRL is quite significant. Train station facilities are getting better, the wagons are also becoming more convenient, and now the KRL already has a route to the airport as well. But what’s more, can be improved?
KRL has launched its own app, KRL Access App on February 3, 2014. PT KCI wants this app to help people easily commute with KRL. But after this long 7 years, the app still gets many bad comments both on App Store and Google Play Store. It has a relatively low rating on App Store (iOS) with an overall 2.0(922 reviews) and the Android app with an overall 2.8(2000+ reviews)
With my curiosity, I tried to research the current KRL Access app and looked for ways to improve the experience. Because I believe KRL Access has a big potential to let people explore Jabodetabek more easily
I want this research to analyze and understand…
- The needs and behaviors of people using KRL
- Identify problems or barriers across the end to end KRL Access and what improvements can be made
- User’s expectations while downloading the app and how it turns out
- Learn about other transportation applications that users gladly use
I started to look for critical user reviews about the KRL Access app on Google Play (Android) and App Store (iOS).
The most common comment is that users feel annoyed because they have to log in first just to see the train schedule. Another common comment is that the train schedule in-app is not the exact schedule. These comments are giving me an insight that the purpose of this app that wants to facilitate the people who use KRL has not been executed greatly
Other comments are regarding the user interface that could be improved to look more appealing and the app that can not be open in some iOS versions.
2. User Research
Moving on, I conducted user research by a qualitative approach that is 1–1 in-depth interviews. The interviews were divided into two parts:
- 1–1 interview: focused on behavior, expectations, and challenges that user experienced while using KRL and KRL Acess App
- Moderated usability test: the main task was to search how to travel from Angke Station to Bekasi Station with the next available train
The targeted number of participants is around 7–10 people, with criteria for those who use KRL as daily transportation. The participants will be divided into two criteria of users, which are, New Users and Existing Users.
a. 1–1 Interview
I successfully had interesting remote interviews because of the pandemic situation with 8 participants who fulfilled the criteria. 4 New Users and 4 Existing users who use KRL as their most-used public transportation. They are 23–33 years old workers who mostly live in the Suburban area.
Based on the interview’s results, here are some insights collected:
- Most users who choose KRL as their main transportation are those who live in the suburbs and they have to commute to the business district area in the city.
- Most of the users know about the train disruption when they arrived at the station. After they think the train takes too long to arrive, they just started looking for any news about the train through Twitter.
- Some users prefer to go early or later to avoid rush hour madness. They even will get off at a further station and use another transportation rather than have to cram in the intersection station.
- If users use KRL to go to work, they always have the same routine. They always start from A station to B station. 2nd case, if the user wants to go to a new place, they will have to find the nearest station from there with another application.
I’d like to pull out one quote, which was pretty interesting because it clearly indicates the failure of this app
“I would rather just ask the security guard in the station rather than using this app, because it’s faster and more credible”
b. Moderated Usability Test
I asked the participants to do a basic task to know how they interact with the currently existing design to get more usability findings of this app.
You have to go to Bekasi Station to attend important client meetings. Your current position is near the Angke Station because you just met with your friends around there. It’s 12 pm and your meeting is set for 2 pm
How do you plan to go to Bekasi Station from Angke Station with the soonest train available, using KRL Access?
There are some major issues that users are facing while doing the task. Here are some of the issues:
- Users should log in first to experience the whole App feature
- Users need to take a longer time to find a station they are not familiar
- Time picker for filtering the train schedule range is uncommon
- The train schedule is showing the last station of the line and users tend to forget what is it
- Unclear information about the train arrival
- The separated train fee calculator
- An incomplete list of station crowd indicators (especially it’s important in the pandemic situation)
After conducting the research, I tried to compile all the data to help define the problems. To help the analysis easier, I made an affinity map to group the data into some specific themes. Then, I also create the customer journey map to show the journey that users went through from the scenario of the usability testing task.
Take a closer look at the affinity map and customer journey map here (Bahasa Indonesia)
From the customer journey map, I got some opportunities from the user’s pain points. The habits and user needs also have become more visible.
So after collecting much data, I created the user persona. This persona will help to really know who are the users and will make it easier to decide on the solutions.
What to do next?
Based on the analysis results on the affinity map, usability testing, and the customer journey map, there are 6 main opportunities that can be done:
1. Giving a more clear user flow
With the feature ‘from-to’, users don’t need to find manually their destination on the map and they can get a suggestion for which line they should be taking.
2. User can save their favorite train line
Considering some users always ride on the same line every day for work, we can maximize the experience by giving them a personalization feature.
3. More clear train position info
Users choose KRL because they want to be faster. We should provide easier digest information for the users.
4. Update about train disruption
The train disruption info should be more visible for users to access. So they don’t need to smell something odd first to start checking the train news update.
5. User can find the nearest station
Some of the users are not familiar with the Jakarta area, so they need to find out which station is nearest to them. We can provide this information on the app.
6. Update the crowd in every station to adapt to the pandemic situation
We should apply social distancing in this pandemic situation. If we can update users about the crowd, it will be so helpful.
See more clear wire flow here
In the wireframing stage, I tried to implement the insights I get from the interview and usability testing sessions. As I listed the opportunities before, I decided to be focusing on creating a more clear user flow that also answers the opportunity for users can find the nearest station without using the other app like before.
- Find the Perfect Route
Users usually have to use another application to find the nearest station from their start position and destination point. After that, they still need to find the best route manually from the KRL route map. It’s quite a long journey to just find a train route.
So the main solution I’d like to propose here is having a ‘from-to’ feature in the app. Users can just insert their destination point and the app will give recommendations routes for the users. With the details of how long the route will take and the fees, they should pay.
2. Trip History
The next feature I’d like to propose is the ‘trip history’ feature. This feature will help to guide users when they want to take the same trip with just one click away. So users don’t need to retype their destination to find the best route available.
I redesigned the Home looks to support the new features I propose. So start from users open the app, they will be directly asked where they are going that day. And if they want to retake their recent trip, they can just click the most recent trips shown.
I also put an app bottom menu bar to make it easier for users to navigate through the app. The bottom menu includes Home, Train Schedule, Trip History, and Twitter Update. Why I put Twitter Update as one of the menus in the bar is because most of the users look out for train information live from Twitter.
The Train Schedule is also in the bottom menu bar because from the research, all of the users use this app to track the train schedule. So in one tap, users can find their train’s time updates.
2. Side Menu
Since some features are already put in the bottom menu bar, I removed some of the menus to make the side menu more clear and precise. I put contact info details on the side menus rather than letting users click on the ‘Contact’ first. Social media shortcuts are also simplified into icons.
3. Train Schedule
For the train schedule, I added how many stations and minutes were left before the train arrives at the chosen station. It will make the users know how much time is left for them to catch the next train.
4. Twitter Updates
I add a button for users to check the updates from Twitter itself. This can give users options on whether they want to read the updates from the KRL Access App or Twitter.
To validate my proposed solutions and new design, I asked 5 people to try my prototype. I gave them 2 tasks:
- How do you know how to get to Museum Wayang with the help of this app?
- How do you find the next train schedule, your last trip, and news update from Twitter?
The average SUS score for this UT is 80 which is great. Participants take 1 minute 35 seconds to finish the tasks.
- Participants like how they were straightly being asked where they are going at Home. Because they think they will open this app every time they want to go somewhere, it gives users a storytelling point.
- The trip history feature also makes participants excited. Especially for those who take the same route every day.
- Participants get confused with the ‘Saved as Image’ button next to the ‘Go with this Route’ button. Participants mistakenly think the ‘Saved as Image’ button is the ‘Favorite’ button.
Reflections and Lessons Learned
I created this project with the hope of improving myself. It still has many flaws and requires more iterations, but I’m glad I did it even though it’s a task from my Dibimbing UI/UX Design Bootcamp. Big thanks to all the participants who kindly responded to my last-minute interview invitations and answered all of my questions excitedly.
Looking back on the whole process, I realized how important the research stage is. Users are always the center of every design decision, they can tell you what you are missing. After doing some in-depth interviews, I understand what was important to users and how to make this app works for them.
Thank you for reading until the very end! I had a lot of fun doing this project, and I hope you enjoyed reading it too. Please give some claps if you like this study case!