Vast number of people rely heavily on Google Calendar to manage time. Google Calendar saves them from memorizing details of their miscellaneous life events each day. Also, calendar’s device synchronization feature assures the service to be portable and available all time, anywhere. However, if real-time traffic conditions on the road from time to time is taken into consideration, merely knowing the time of an upcoming event does not provide much help for an individual to decide on the best departure time for the event. Bridging up this one last gap is just as critical as any previous steps taken to guarantee the punctual arrival.
Smooth’It is a mobile app based on both Android and iOS platforms. It detects real-time traffic conditions and suggests the best departure time for the next upcoming event in Google Calendar.
Once a user logs into the app and allows the app to access his or her Google Calendar, Smooth’It will be continuously active on the background of the phone and periodically (increase in frequency as the next event is approaching) detect real-time traffic conditions between user’s current and destination locations and updates its suggested time to set off for the upcoming event. Smooth’It can serve as an alarm clock when the user have not manually open the app; it may also serve as a read-only digital calendar, containing events within the next 24 hours and estimated best departure time for the upcoming event.
"We define our target users as people who drive often, have a smartphone and rely heavily on Google Calendar to remind their daily affairs. Both Android and IOS version have been designed and implemented"
The following story is about a company staff being fired because of late arrival due to poor estimation of transportation situation
Job: Software Development Engineer
Worktime: Usually 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Salary: $110,000/year with bonus
The following is an empathy map of Jason. I and my teammates use it to stand on the perspective of Jason and explore what he might be thinking, feeling, doing, seeing and hearing.
We use experience map to imitate the whole experience of Jason driving to work in order to find problems and point that can be improved in our design.
Through the previous analysis, we conclude that for our potential users, following design goals should be met.
1. Calendar schedule with real-time traffic taken into consideration
Add value to your Google Calendar to assure your punctuality in time – assuring your calendar to work closely with real-time traffic
2. 24-hour event preview lists
Provide users with 24 hour events list that they can check. Let users get to know following events in advance.
3. Remind multiple times
Reminds user periodically until the user dismiss the notification or the event has passed
The following is storyboard describing scenarios that we want our users can achieve after using Smooth'It.
We analyzed interaction flow of Smooth'it trying to find out what's the core functions that we should create. We divided smooth'it interaction flow into several modules and create functions based on each modules.
Scenario 1 (Normal Condition)
Scenario 2(Push Notification)
Based on the previous research, we decided that the following modules are essential for the design of Smooth'it.
1. Smooth'It log in page.
2. Authorize Smooth'it to access user's personal account.
3. Inform users about set off time for next events.
4. Users can check all their events in 24 hours
5. There is no upcoming events.
6. Smooth'it will push notification to remind users the best set off time even if it's running in the background
1. Log in Smooth’It and Smooth’It will require access to your google account in order to capture calendar data.
2.The backend server of Smooth’It – Amazon EC2 will periodically check your events in the next 24 hours in Google Calendar and store them in database. Smooth’It will send user’s current location to backend server, and then the server will sends current user location and location for next event to Bing Maps API to get estimated driving time based on current traffic condition.
3.Smooth’It provide set off time estimation for events in the next 24 hour stored in Google Calendar.
4. There will be no notification from Smooth’It if there’s no events. Save Battery.
5.Users don’t have to always open the app and check their set off time. Smooth’It can work in the backend and push notification to message drop-down column.
I view this app design and development project as a start-up trial. As the only UX designer in our team, I mainly shoulder the responsibility of user research and ideation, designing interface, video editing and generating. Also, I closely cooperated with our developers and participated in the front-end development process by using Cordova and Angular-JS framework.