ClujBike Map started as an experiment on how custom software can improve a process.
As the name suggests, the App is a map referring to the bike sharing stations around Cluj. The App is made to improve the user experience. I want to stress out the fact that ClujBike Map is a separate entity from the ClujBike project and it was created only to help it. Moreover, the App is free of charge.
As a concept, bike sharing involves mobility and an active way of life, so I consider that all relevant info regarding the bike sharing system should be available on the go, not only on a web page. Yes I know, you can visit the website from your smartphone, but in order to see a simple thing like the number of free docks in a given station, you have to open a browser, search the website, open the map, pass a security question and then and only then see the map. This is a no go, when you have 5 more minutes to return the bike. And it's not even like you have to do this once, you have to do it every single time you need some piece of info. So, as a lazy user I said to myself that this process can be improved. I wanted to compress all of this in one move. All can be done with a custom App made for this project.
The App's user experience interaction was thought to be as simple and as useful as possible, with as fewer touches as possible.
Once you launch the App, it directly shows you a map with all the bike stations around you. Depending on their status, online and offline, they appear in green or gray, so you can orient yourself at a glance.
Tapping a station pin will show a callout with only relevant info: name of the station, location, number of available bikes and parking docks.
When a station is selected, the walking distance between it and the user is displayed in minutes, in the left bottom corner and the shortest path is plotted on the map. Everything happens in one tap.
To help people outside the city get a sense of where they are, and where they need to go, we added points of interest on the map, so they don't have to switch to another map to check that out.
We all know how easy is to lose track of time, so one other key feature of the App is its 50 minute timer, which you can start when you pick up a bike. Ten minutes before your free hour expires, it will let you know that you need to take the bike back. So, you don't have to worry about time and money, while enjoying the bike. In addition to this care-free user experience, there is a speed dial button for the ClujBike call centre in case you need to ask them something or have a problem with your bike.
Even if I consider it to be a project open to suggestions, I think the App fulfills its purpose and I'll try to keep it simple. I don't want to clog it up in any way.
Nevertheless, there will be an update, where the user will be able to set favorite stations, so that they may be free from the noise of the rest of the stations on the map. I want users to find the stations of interest, which they use more often, easily.
This will make the integration with the App even faster on a daily basis. Less App interaction, more life interaction.
You can download it from the App Store or by simply scanning this QR:
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