In one of the most densest metropolitan areas in the world, Manilla commuters are forced to travel in capacity-exceeded, dangerous modes of transportation.
As a client project for the Anthropology department at Carnegie Mellon University, Saan Ka eases the process of collecting logistical and emotional data about commuters in Manila. With the often angry commentary on the commuting experience being ignored by privileged policy-makers and government officials, this app seeks to amplify the voices of those most affected
with Ari Daly, Isadora Krsek, Junwoo Cheong, and Julie Choi.
The Busiest Metro
We asked folks who live in Metro Manila about their current experiences. When did they have to get up in the morning? What do they go to work for? What modes of transportation did they take, and at what points?
We championed these experiences in the design of our initial prototypes. If they wrote a lengthy rant about their commutes on social media platforms before, then we looked to develop a similar typing experience. If they only took out their phones in safe areas, then we assumed we shouldn’t send push notifications during specific stretches in their commute.
A Data-Driven Story
For our researchers, it wouldn’t be enough to know what kinds of transportation participants are using. While purely quantitative data-collection methods exist, that isn’t how actual lived experiences work.
We came up with a handful of features—some incentive-based. But at the end of the day, our conversations with our stakeholders led us to realize that traffic data is wholly beneficial to have in a back pocket.
Testing Here, Testing There
For us, that meant thinking about what it might be like to read screens while in cramped, moving spaces. It also meant recognizing the dynamic levels of ability our users might have, from their vision to their ability to tap or type.
From our rounds of local and international testing, we realized we needed to make some visual design adjustments. Type sizes, for example, needed to increase to account for the shakiness of vehicles. Similarly, buttons needed to be expanded for easier tap access.