“MTA Echo - An Essential Worker App”
About this Project:
Name of App: MTA Echo
Main Function: Signaling
App Category: Utility
Function: My App would make it easier for those working in the MTA, especially the conductors, to signal one another if there is a malfunction within the trains. This would make their lives easier while running the subway.
I interviewed an MTA worker and they’ve explained all the problems and situations that go on in the MTA. I then reviewed them all and came with a plan to eliminate, or better help, those situations that she struggles with while working at the MTA.
I had to use the design process in order to work. My MTA worker is in charge of communicating that all doors are closed so that the conductor knows it is clear to go, but they have a hard time communicating to each other for the conductor to know. I learned that defining the problem is very important because you need to find out the problem before anything. The reason why I spent so much time on solutions is that this was a very easy problem, but I had trouble trying to figure out how useful it would be and how it can be used as an everyday tool.
The colors I used are green, blue, and yellow because It reminded me a lot of the MTA. A difficulty I was experiencing, and expect in the future, is how would my app be able to connect to any other person without wifi since they work underground. I learned that some apps work without wifi and I learn about how much time and dedication needs to be put into making an app, especially if the app is something that helps others on a day-to-day basis.
About the program at DreamYard
As a collective, we took the time to define essential work in our communities and then choose accessible people in occupations related to our definitions. This project challenges small problems in individuals ' jobs that could help them work more effectively and efficiently. They need varied depending on the essential worker but everyone had small issues that complied and impeded their work.
Students went through a process of familiarizing themselves with the Human-Centered Design approach and their personal design process in the fall where they made a face mask from scratch with minor improvements that they individually brainstormed. In the spring, they took their understanding of their process, chose essential workers, and developed a list of questions to best understand their work and the small and large issues that arise in their day-to-day. After conducting interviews students synthesized their notes and chose a simple problem they could solve with an app. At the same time, they learned about the basics of apps, product design, wireframing, and graphic design to build the idea for their project.