Improving Transit Wayfinding


Transit wayfinding is essential for providing clear and concise guidance to passengers navigating public transportation systems. Clear wayfinding is crucial for reducing rider frustration and improving the overall experience of using public transit. When the Toronto Transit Commission introduced screens into their buses, I saw an opportunity for improvement.

The Team


My Role

User Research and Interaction Design

Case Study
a photograph of the existing TTC wayfinding device

The TTC adopting new technology onto their transit inspired me to create my own approach into this wayfinding project.


Above is a picture of the existing (circa 2019) implementation of the new LCD screens. The excessive remaining screen real estate inspired me to craft my own approach of how digital wayfinding on transit could be executed. My goals for this project were to:


People who don’t have cellular data won’t have access to directions easily

People who are new to the city

People who aren’t from Toronto

The main activity this device will deliver is to direct passengers to their destination and notify them if a stop is requested

The device will be viewed by every passenger on the bus in both the front and the back

When the user requests a stop it will be displayed on the device for all passengers to see

Output: LCD Screen w/speakers

Screen Size: 27 inches

Communication: Occurs during the passengers ride

Content: Upcoming stop, stop requested

Before diving in, I conducted a PACT analysis, highlighting people, activities, content, and technologies to define my scope and users.

User #1

“Because I don't have data, I will usually prepare ahead and attempt to memorize where the stop is, as well as the stop prior to, so I know where to get off in advance.”

User #2

“When I’m on my way to work, I stare at the LCD screen so I don’t miss my stop.”

User #3

“A real-time GPS or Map on the main screen would be helpful as it can provide an idea of where you are without the need of opening your phone”

After understanding who my users would be, I conducted  interviews to understand riders’ current experience from before they get on the bus to after they get off.


To be able to take the bus and and depart without missing their destination.

To be able to display the upcoming stop and if a stop has been requested.

To know where their stop is in relation to their current situation.

Won’t have enough time to collect things before departing the bus and having to rush.

Connecting with my users helped map out a target persona to design for. I outlined the Goals, Needs, Wants, and Fears for this target user.


In order to understand the approach needed for this project, I first started with a PACT analysis. The people section then informed the demographics I would then approach for small interviews. I made sure in my search I found someone who was very used to the transit landscape in Toronto, someone who had technological limitations associated with commuting, and someone who is unfamiliar with Toronto and the TTC as well. This helped me create a persona that let me define the Goals, Needs, Wants, and Fears of a prospective rider, which in turn helped me develop my prototype.

my prototype of how wayfinding could look like

The default state of the prototype


The outcome drew inspiration from existing subway maps. I wanted to show the rider a visual representation of where they currently are on their journey, their upcoming stops, and any transfer routes that were available to them. The existing solution obstructs the stop name when a stop is requested, so I create my own solution to make sure both pieces of information can be presented

my prototype of how wayfinding could look like when there is a service delay

Service info

my prototype of how wayfinding could look like when there is a stop requested

Stop requested