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Product Design Exercise #2

Design Prompt: The NYC metrocard system has remained unchanged for decades. The cost of the metrocard machine infrastructure, the lost time of waiting in line to buy a metrocard, touching a dirty machine to do it, the potential of losing the metrocard, and the ease of gaming the system by swiping your card for others has cost the city millions of dollars and leaves much to be desired from the user experience.

Design Challenge: Design a new system that allows a daily user who uses the metro everyday or an-out-of-town visitor who will use the metro just once to get access to the metro, on time, without having a physical NYC metrocard on hand.

Persona #1: Daily NYC public transit rider

Persona #2: One-time public transit rider


Ryder is a mobile application that replaces both the a la carte paper cards and digital plastic cards. The application allows everyday train passengers to discard their plastic cards while single-use passengers avoid purchasing a paper card at a machine. The app provides users with choice of a monthly subscription pass or paying for a random one-way trip.

The app provides a barcode for scanning on the turnstile in the NYC train stations. Ryder will mark the starting point of the trip when a passenger enters then mark the end point upon scanning the barcode at their destination. For single-trip passengers, the app will immediately debit the pre-determined cost of the trip from their checking account or debit card. A monthly ride history

MVP Flowchart

Flowchart created with Lucidchart.


Ryder offers the best of both worlds in the confines of the challenge. To extrapolate out to a full application, as it stands Ryder leaves out a customer segment: avid riders who are between needing a one-way ticket and a monthly subscription. For those riders, Ryder could offer a la carte usage attached to a checking account or bank card.

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