NJ Transit App Redesign

Easier way to getting around.

4 Weeks
UX/UI Design, UX Research
2 UX Designers
3 iphone mockups of screens from a conceptual redesign of the NJ Transit app.

Bus riders complain that the NJ Transit app is far from being user-friendly.

From app reviews to the voices of people around me, there have been many complaints made about the NJ Transit app from mainly the bus riders. As a fellow NJ Transit bus rider myself, I've also had my fair share of challenges understanding how to work the app.

Partnering up with another UX designer, we've decided to work on improving the app under a time constraint (4 weeks).


What is challenging about using the NJ Transit app?

Method: Interview, survey, personas, user journey, competitive analysis

Understanding that there is a general consensus amongst NJ Transit bus riders that the app is difficult to use, we wanted to dig deeper into the aspects of the app that proved to be difficult to use. From the interview and survey responses we've received, we were able to pinpoint 2 main issues: 


1. Zones are confusing

When buying a bus ticket through the Route & Zone option, people have trouble figuring out how many zones are needed for their trip. Unless the person was a frequent bus rider, most people found it difficult wrapping their heads around the concept of "zones."

2. Questioning which route to take

It's also not the easiest figuring out which route is needed to take for the journey ahead. Most people have pointed out that they have to use outside resources (Google maps, asking around, etc.) to see which route would be best for them.

While there is the option of finding a possible bus route by searching through the Origin and Destination option under Buy Tickets, it requires the user to already know the name of the station or stop beforehand.  


We created 2 personas: one who uses the NJ Transit app often and one who is pretty new to the app.

Competitive Analysis

How do other transit ticketing apps compare?

My partner and I wanted to see what set apart other "good" public transit ticketing apps compared to the NJ Transit app.


While we've observed the user flows to be much simpler for the other apps, we had also come to notice that the NJ Transit app had no choice but to be different from other transit ticketing apps for 2 main reasons:

  • The app contains 3 modes of transportation (bus, rail, and light rail). It isn't an app solely dedicated to the NJ Transit bus.
  • NJ Transit has a particular way of pricing their bus tickets, which is dependent on 3 factors:
    • If the route taken is in North Jersey or South Jersey
    • If the route taken is interstate (crossing into a different state) or intrastate (staying within Jersey)
    • How many fare zones is crossed during the trip

We concluded that what worked for other ticketing apps may not work as a one-size-fits-all solution for the NJ Transit app.


Make the NJ Transit app more usable for bus riders.

Specifically, we wanted to focus on improving the user flow for buying bus tickets.


The Vision

We had 3 goals to keep in mind when creating the wireframes: 

  • Rearrange the information architecture and make the navigation more simple
  • Add an interactive map for visual aid
  • Take into account the two types of users
    • People who regularly use the app (keep the route & zone option)
    • People who are newer to the app (create a map search option)


We conducted user testing with 4 participants, 3 of whom were already familiar with using the NJ Transit app.

Making the CTA button clearer

On the tickets page, we've gotten feedback that the plus button wasn't exactly the most obvious. We wanted to make it clearer that the button was an option to buy a ticket.

Merging the trip planner + search option as one

All of our participants seemed to be confused about the difference between the trip planner and the map search option when buying bus tickets. My partner and I concluded that they were both serving similar purposes (which was finding the best route for your trip), so we decided to have it come together as one.

Repurchasing Tickets

To make it easier for users to quickly purchase tickets that they often buy on a regular basis, we made it possible to repurchase either a used ticket under the tickets tab or a favorited ticket under the favorites section on the home screen by clicking on the bright blue REPURCHASE link.


Final Prototype

What I learned:

  • Recognized the importance of accountability when collaborating with someone else on the same project
  • Learned how to take different opinions and make decisions that respected both of our thinking

Moving forward: 

  • Bring in more users who are not as familiar with the NJ Transit app for user testing
  • Do a second round of user testing, which should indicate where we could improve next