Research For/By Design Part 4

Kendra Barber
4 min readMay 4, 2021


For the fourth part of our project, we needed to take all of our previous research, start brainstorming, and create a prototype, which could be anything to help solve our initial problems.

Since my group is focusing on public transportation, we needed to think of something that would potentially effect a wide range of people. So taking a look at some of our past research, we had come to the conclusion that the best course of action would be to create a mobile application. That way, the millions of people that ride the subway everyday in NYC would have easier access to all of the things that they needed, and in turn, would make their entire experience much easier.


To start brainstorming, we listed out all of the possible design ideas that we were thinking about considering. We took into account the problems, goals, wants, and fears of our user personas, and came up with ideas that would help in each of those areas. We ended up developing four different ideas, but we didn’t know what direction we wanted to take them. After talking it over, and doing some more research, we decided that the best idea would be to just create a mobile application, where we could implement more than one of our original design ideas.


Based on our design ideas, we wanted to take some of the features that MTA already offered, and then create our own brand new app, while also adding in some new features. MTA offers about 6 different mobile applications, so we wanted to centralize some of them so users wouldn’t have download multiple ones, and can have access to everything they need in one place. We took a look at existing features, and then decided what exactly we wanted to add:

After deciding on what features we wanted to add, we needed to map out our app to see how users would be able to use it, and also figure out what screens would needed to be created, and we did that using a site map.

Having a visual representation of what we needed made it a lot easier to see what we needed, what changes we needed to make, and see if we were missing anything. After creating the site map, we could start getting into the actual prototyping phases of the app. We ended up splitting the sections, and each person got their own part of the app to work on. I was assigned the payments section of the app, and the next steps included creating wireframes to see how it would look.

For my own designs, I pulled some ideas from the existing app, but then added a few extra things. Our group decided that in order to get more riders on the subway, we were going to implement a rewards program that incentivized rides on the subway, so I was also in charge of creating that section as well. After al of our wireframes were finished, we were able to start creating our high fidelity mockups, which we would end up using for the prototype.

Final Product:

We were able to create a really nice look overall, and I think that it was a very good representation of what we wanted to accomplish:


Overall, I think that my group did an amazing job of capturing our vision, and executing it in a way that we could actually see this being created for use in the real world. We were able to recognize the problems, and develop something that solved not just one, but multiple issues that we encountered. I believe that we were very intentional with our design, which can definitely be seen with our final product, and we were able to turn stressful situation into a much more enjoyable experience.



Kendra Barber

graphic designer @ a fin tech startup, grad student @ nyu, aspiring uxe