Project Brief
Société de transport de Montréal (STM)


STM is a public transportation enterprise that develops and operates an integrated bus, metro, and paratransit system for commuters in Montreal. The goal of this project was to identify usability problems of the site and provide recommendations to fulfill users' needs. We had a team of 4 people (Paul, Hala, Drago, & Collin). I conducted cognitive walkthrough and heuristic evaluation on my own and facilitated the usability tests with the team.

Research Questions:
  • How easily and successfully do users get started with registering OPUS card on the site?

  • What paths do travelers take to finding the best route from point origin to point destination?

  • Can users efficiently find information they need when they needed through exploring the site?


Goals: ​
  • Identify errors and difficulties when finding the best route from origin to destination.​​​

  • Identify obstacles when registering OPUS card on the website.​

  • Assess the overall effectiveness of the main components of the website.​

Usability Evaluation 
Cognitive Walkthrough:


We proceed with a 15-steps action sequence to execute a specific action, to go from “Point A of origin (Marriot Hotel Montreal) to Point of destination (Botanical Garden) at a specific time (on April 15th, at 3:00 pm)”.


15 Steps Action Sequence & User Persona

Heuristic Evaluation:


Nielsen’s Ten Usability Heuristics was used. Severity ratings (0-4) indicate the problems and provide rough estimates. When determining a rating, the factors such as “frequency”, “impact”, “persistence”, and “justification” were considered. 


Heuristics Evaluation

Usability Tests:


Three participants were newly admitted graduate students at McGill. They were asked to find a route with a given address, time, and date as well as to register an Opus card. They later needed to give a rating in terms of filling info, selecting info, system help, and system flow. Meanwhile, notetakers counted the time of completion, the number of attempts, the number of times the moderator had to intervene, and the number of times the system helped users to recover from an error.

Test setup: 

  • Introduction 

  • 3 Tasks 

  • Debriefing 

  • Questionnaire 

  • Once users cannot find the right address, the site suggests them to check addresses on "Google Maps". If clicked, it takes users off the site. Users have to go back to the site and redo everything. To improve the auto-suggestion tool for addresses so that users can find the address more quickly and easily. 

  • The system doesn't provide enough error prevention. If users clicked on “See all fares”, they won't be able to go back to their search results. Search results and fares can be shown on the same page.​​ Or allow users to go back and their information should be saved automatically. ​

  • The map on the landing page shows more than Montréal Island. It gives users a wrong impression that they could try to book a trip that is outside of STM coverage. To design a new map and only shows the area of ​STM coverage.

Future Work

The findings and results were provided to the web developer at STM. Since many French speakers live in Montreal, it is necessary to test the French version of the website as well. In addition, "Click-Tracking" should be used when running more tests in the future because this technique measures user engagement and helps designer better understand how to restructure the information architecture and establish an improved and intuitive organization of content.

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​2019 Collin Wang