Inspiration

We have been so exceedingly disappointed by UMD’s unsatisfactory “transportation services” that we decided to design our own from the student perspective.

We terps have been inconvenienced by the lack of personalized shuttle navigation despite the multiple shuttle apps that have been provided. There are a lack of features that could help us navigate the campus, which has deterred many from regularly boarding the buses without feeling nervous. We want an app that is so intuitive and simple to use that a new student attending UMD will be able to walk on the campus and ride the buses without fear of being late, lost, or boarding the wrong bus and being late to class.

What it does

Our Adobe XD app design mimics the functionality of a user friendly and intuitive shuttle bus scheduling application. You can find available shuttles from your current location. We designed the app to show you where the nearest bus stop is, how much time it will take to get there, when the bus will be arriving (in future iterations we will account for bus delays), and how much time it will take to get to your destination. Terps can plan their schedules in peace or know when it's time to run.

How we built it

To create the intuitive and interactive UI of TerpTransit, we used the design and prototype testing features within Adobe Xd. In addition, we utilized the interactions feature inside of Adobe Xd prototype mode to connect different states of the app together to create seamless animations. To create a more intuitive UI, we also had to consider the perspectives of the app-users and any possible misconceptions that may arise when using our app, and with this viewpoint we did our best to clear up any misunderstandings through the design of our app.

Then using ArcGIS and its Python module, we imported the map of the University, gathered the bus routes and calculated how much time it would take to get to your destination using the nearest bus stop to your location and available bus.

## Challenges we ran into

It was hard to put all the ideas for features down in terms of how the design would turn out. At first, the designing process was quick and easy with Adobe Xd, however eventually we started running into issues where we started debating whether or not certain designs were intuitive. Ultimately, intuitive design is quite hard to do since people interpret information differently. Another difficulty we had was planning out the placement of each feature and how the app would make the transitions between these features. These challenges were on the design end of the app.

For the programming, we had to learn how to use ArcGIS for the first time so there was a learning curve. We spent a lot of time installing ArcGIS and also trying out different APIs for out project. One significant issue we encountered was determining the location coordinates. We figured out later that there are different coordinate systems when using GIS maps and also how the coordinate data is displayed.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very satisfied with how the UI/UX turned out in our design prototype. It’s definitely not finalized, and could use polish in the future. However, this is a very nice design to start with that we can improve upon later, and we are very excited to see what will come out of it!

What we learned

We learned a lot about navigating through Adobe XD and creating design prototypes. We also learned a lot about how much we can get done when we work as a team, and just how far we can get in app development together.

We also learned that ArcGIS is a very flexible platform that can be used in many different applications -- with code, with no code, with the Jupyter notebook. It's a brillian tool to model geospatial data and using it to better serve humanity. As programmers we strengthened out Python and JavaScript skills, and learned about other applications that are useful with ArcGIS, such as Codepen.io an Jupyter Notebook.

What's next for TerpTransit

We definitely want to make a fully functional platform that all UMD students can use, but this will take some time and will require a huge learning curve, especially when it comes to implementing ArcGIS. plan on further developing our app in both design and programming. We plan creating a design that looks seamless and feels comfortable to navigate through. This can be done through further evaluation of our design, along with having others test out the app as we develop it later on.

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