When we were given the challenge to improve UX for the bus drivers, the first thing we did was that we went to talk to one of the drivers. After 20 mins of asking about his work, we clearly identified the problems needed to be fixed. They were:
- Inconvenience of dealing with cash when selling tickets on board
- Time wasted entering user details into the app when they purchase tickets
- Need to keep in mind lot's of things to check before ride begins
So we have built an effective solution to these problems.
What it does
OnSpot is a combination of a mobile app and a chatbot. The chatbot allows people to buy a last minute ticket without even having an internet connection. Instead of entering their data through the driver's phone and paying with cash, they can provide their info by sending an sms to a short number and pay using their credit card right there. Users can even use simple feature phones to book a ride, making the service accessible to absolutely anyone.
Drivers get access to OnSpot Apple Watch App, which gives them quick access to useful ride info and the list of passengers, who bought their ticket through the bot.
This combination of accessible chatbot and apple watch app save so valuable time for the drivers, allowing them to focus on their work instead of doing sales.
How we built it
We have used a brand new Vapor Swift framework, which brings Apple's programming language into the world of backend. This way we could use Swift all throughout the project - from the wearable app to the bot API design.
Challenges we ran into
We wanted to design a best possible user experience, so we have to deal with a number of technical limitations. Why people wouldn't use the Flixbus app to book the ticket in advance? We assumed that they don't have internet connection at the moment, when they decide to take a trip, so the solution needed to work without internet. Second, we wanted to allow drivers to accept credit cards without forcing them to purchase payment terminals. Additional hardware would be an unnecessary burden.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
An excellent accessibility of our platform from any mobile phone. We are also glad that we bring all of this functionality without any additional hardware.
What we learned
A lot of server side swift.
What's next for OnSpot for Flixbus
Possible integration with existing APIs of Flixbus to deliver even more functionality for the users.