CASE STUDY - iOS App Redesign

VCR Grid


Ray Clarke, Founder


2 Weeks Design Sprint


Product Designer

UX Methods:

Heuristic Evaluation, Competitive Analysis, In-Depth Interviews, Affinity Diagrams, Personas, User Journey, Sitemap, User Flows, Paper Sketches, Wireframes, Interactive Prototype

Design Tools:

Trello, Sketch, InVision

Problem Statement:

My solution was to create payment features for users to purchase transportation tickets across transit systems as the MVP (Minimal Viable Product) to address a market gap.

VCR Grid is a transportation app that was designed by a developer and it showed. It lacked usability, functionality, and reliability. It had less than 50 users and needed to increase its user.


Ray Clarke, the founder of the VCR Grid app, had multiple visions of what his transit app can do. My goal was to hone onto his hypothesis and validate them through User Research. I began my research by analyzing VCR Grid and its competitors. What I discovered in the heuristic evaluation was disastrous but what I found in the competitive analysis was promising. The app did require a full redesign but one of the founder's hypothesis had the potential of becoming a UVP - Unique Value Proposition. Ray believed that people would be motivated to pay for transportation tickets through the VCR app so users can quickly hop on a bus or train in order to avoid the hassle of going to a vending machine.

Heuristic Evaluation:

The transit option page was confusing to use and visually hard to read. It was unclear what the presented information meant and what actions a user can take. Users' feedback indicated it lack the basic features needed for a transit app.

Competitive Analysis:

The competitive analysis confirmed the app was deficient in functionalities but it also showed there was a market gap. None of the competitors offered users the ability to purchase transportation tickets through an app.

Click image to enlarge.

In-depth Interviews:

Further qualitative research was needed to determine if there was a product-market fit.

  • Who was the target audience?

  • What were their underserved needs?

  • How did they address those needs?


We conducted in-depth interviews with users - local and international travelers. We asked open-ended questions from our research plan. After I had an understanding of their commuting behavior, I focused on how they felt about purchasing a transportation ticket through an app and why. 


We discovered 90% of transit users were willing to buy a transportation ticket in order to expedite their commute. They had an underserved need to change transportation quickly during service disruptions. Long lines and broken vending machines contributed to their pain points.

Affinity Diagram:

We learned 'convenience' was a big motivating factor for users, meaning they wanted to know what is the fastest and cheapest route to take. The greatest challenge they faced was the inability to respond to service delays. 

 User Personas:

We identified four types of users - local commuters, spontaneous travelers, businessmen, and trip planners based on our research. I created four personas to represent their behaviors, needs, and motivations as guide for our design.

VCR - Commuter
VCR - Spontaneous
VCR - Business
VCR - Trip Planner

Click on the right thumbnails for additional views.


It was evident our users wanted to expedite their commute. Could a transit purchasing ticket app provide the convenience our users are looking? How can we provide our target audience, local commuters, with the convenience they were searching for while generating revenues?

User Flows:

I produced four user flows to demonstrate:

  • How a user would select a journey,

  • How a user would register to buy a ticket, and

  • How a user would lazy login to complete the transaction and get a barcode, or

  • How a user would perform a one-time purchase to expedite the journey

Paper Sketches:

I paper sketched 4 categories - the suggested route, the fastest, the cheapest, and the most direct route. "How could there be several suggested routes?" another designed asked. I explained the app would systematically determine the fastest and cheapest route. We disagreed for a while, shared ideas, and continued to work through the process until we came into an agreement.


Our brainstorming was fruitful in clarifying the screen content and functionalities. We assigned the screens we would work on for our wireframes. She had the transit options and journey detail screens and while I worked on the ticket purchase, payment methods, and payment screens. 

Sign In Screen
Register Screen
Select Payment Method Screen
Credit Card Screen
Multiple Tickets Screen

Click on the right thumbnails for additional views.


The final presentation went well. Ray, the CEO, finally saw his vision of a transit ticket purchasing app come to life with my interactive prototype.


‘Over the past 1.5 years I have met many people with much experience in varying fields to discuss my vision.  Anna has identified and provided the most constructive and relevant feedback to date.  She quickly understood me and all the angles to my vision which in my opinion is the key fundamental to a successful design project.  I would highly recommend her and I intend to showcase her work on the next release of the VCR app, Version 1.3.0, on the App store.’


Ray Clarke, Founder VCR Grid


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