Problem description

Commuters have a pressing need for a mobile service, especially since they do not have access to a desk and computer. Many sources of information (digital and non-digital) are competing for the attention of the commuter. This presents a unique opportunity to create a mobile solution to help professionals manage and use information.

Let's say our user, Gary, is on his way to work, but there is unexpected traffic. He might be late for an important morning meeting. What to do? Kaja is a mobile app that could come in handy.

kaja2 kaja1


In order to understand the user’s needs we conducted surveys by email, phone, and in-person and received 14 responses. We did not want to limit ourselves to local respondents, and therefore we felt a survey would give us the greatest geographic breadth of responses and allow us to discover trends over a more diverse data set. It also allowed us to reach a wide range of people from New York to Seoul.

Ages: from 24 to 51 years old.

Transportation methods include: driving, carpool, subway, bus, train, walking, and combinations thereof.

  • 1) How do you commute (car, train, bus, subway, walk, etc.) and how long is your commute?
  • 2) What do you do while commuting?
  • 3) What do you think about while commuting?
  • 4) What kind of mood are you typically in while commuting (if different between morning and evening please say so).
  • 5) What would you like to do while commuting?
  • 6) Do you worry about anything about or during your commute?
  • 7) What information is critical to you while commuting?
  • 8) How do you deal with any complications that might arise while you are commuting?

Concept validation

Finally, we designed iteratively, creating designs and refining them according to peer feedback. We gave and received criticisms, both positive and negative, and took those into consideration.


What do users value?

Two dominant concerns arose from our research, with notable quotes:

1) Is there traffic? What is the best way to get there?

“I'm afraid of getting completely stuck in an accident.”
“Delayed or cancelled routes, and how soon the next train is coming [are important] so I know if I need to find an alternate route...”

2) I want to let people know when I am going to be late.

“If you are going to be late, you just try to let people know who may be affected.”
“Since [my wife] has to pick me up and I don't want her to have to sit there and wait.”

Design process

Once we had our user responses, putting Kaja in the hands of users provided us with new design ideas like streamlining interactions and simplifying core features such as address and location set up.

Our users are professional commuters traveling to their work place. They are tech-savvy and are used to having their smart phones, iPads, e-readers, laptops at hand.

We knew that a core scenario was built on the scenario of users driving to work. We needed to ensure interactions conveyed all required information easily to a user who may be extremely busy and distracted. We also knew it was of paramount importance that interactions be intuitive enough as to be easily recognizable and learnable.

Home screen flow

En route flow

Icon and logo evolution

The solution

Kaja is an integrated mobile application that is:

Smart: Contextually aware

Accurate: Uses historical GPS data to improve arrival times

Seamless: Calendar, e-mail, phone and GPS integration

Simple: Easy to use while driving

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