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Tennessee Department of Transportation's map interface for 511 traffic information
Recorded from live production.

goal

To create a public interface which fulfills the federal initiative (511) to provide the public with roadway condition information.

analysis

We began analysis by researching existing public inquiries and IP searches to find out who was already using the 511 program and how they were using it. We identified three main user groups and use types. First, commuters used the data to find the most efficient routes for their trip. Second, the visually impaired parsed the data as an occupation. Third, news agencies used the data to report on daily traffic conditions. Based on this date, we determined that the interface needed to be easy to use, fast to respond, and ADA compliant.

solutions

For direct use of the common user, we provided a Web application with a map interface. We implemented recognizable UI, responsive design, Google API, Waze API, and integration with regional TDOT traffic operations (traffic operational software I also designed). We contracted with a company to manage video feeds which we provided to local news channels. The video feeds are also available through the Smartway application. We created an ADA compliant portal for the visually impaired.

research and planning

The project presented an interesting challenge. TDOT’s structure did not allow the development team to have direct contact with the user. To overcome this challenge, we created consistent lines of communication through the Product Owner, who did have direct contact with the users. I helped the Product Owner write tasks and features in a way that was meaningful (but not restrictive) to the development team. I also consulted the Product Owner on how to turn user feedback into actionable features. As the Designer and Frontend Developer, I also coded sections of the interface.

I participated in early brainstorming with the Lead Developer and Product Owner. We worked in an Agile framework, with two week sprint cycles. We started with the google maps API and single point mapping for events. Those points identify events and resources that supported our minimum viable product. In later sprints we added county-wide geometry for weather, and lines for events along a section of road.

UI Assets Creation

map icons
weather events

user feedback

Along with essential user testing, the development team receives continual feedback from the app via user emails. Feedback is used to create new user stories and remove user stories that were not practical.