2019 | STL Metro

Designing for systems

Making public transportation in St. Louis easy and accessible.

STL Metro is a prototype that proposes a solution to a broken public transit experience. For those who rely on the Metrolink system of St. Louis, this app would serve as a tool to help them navigate the city with ease.

Starting with Legacy

An inspection of the current system for guiding users through public transit reveals a confusing and overhwelming user experience.

Figuring out times and mapping a route with the official trip planner is not only difficult to use and aestheticaly unappealing but also requires manual sorting and recall from users.

Mapping Empathy

To truly empathize with users that follow this system, I started using the St. Louis Metrolink regularly and taking advantage of public information. From first-hand experience, I was able to build an empathy map that aligns with users needs.

Bread Boards & Fat Marker Sketches

Instead of wireframes, my process utilizes breadboards and fat marker sketches. Creating rough drafts with a text based list of affordances allows for focus on the features and flow.

Map Design
Eastbound Trains
Westbound Trains
System Fare Type
System Fare Price
Service Hours Days
Serivce Hours First Train
Service Hours Last Train
Directions with Map View
From Station
To Station
Line Direction
Upcoming Train Name
Upcoming Train Line
Upcoming Train Time

High Fidelity Design

With a solidified vision, the sketches and bread boards guided high fidelity mockups. Together, the mockups create an app with three views that propose a simple tool to help people navigate the St. Louis Metrolink system..

After finalizing the light theme designs, it was time to support dark theme users. Even though it's mostly a matter of tweaking color pallete, the dark theme designs look gorgeous and offer a lot of value in terms of usability.

Designing the Icon

After finishing the high fidelity design and prototype, it was time to design the app icon. To help make it clear what this app does, I opted for simple iconography that makes it obvious the intention is public transit in St. Louis.

After choosing a design for the icon, I ran some tests for black and white and color to ensure legibility in different circumstances. Ultimately, I decided on an indigo inspired from the city's official colors with white.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, the project was a lot of fun to work on. Unfortunately, without the capital to fund development to bring this product to life, STL Metro is limited to an idea and not a published product.

©2023 Tyler Renfro