ONGuide Navigation Service

Recipient of: BOLD Award for Accessible Design, 2018 RGD Student Awards
Honourable Mention: Quarry Award for UX Design, 2018 RGD Student Awards


Problem: Navigating public transit in Ontario can be an intimidating task for new users because of the system's complexity and inconsistencies.

Solution: An accessible digital wayfinding service that allows transit users to navigate the Ontario transit system with ease and confidence regardless of a user’s age, ability, or comfort level with the system.

“The strategy, design and concept for this app is fantastic as it addresses a need that exists both inside and outside of the disability community. Its simple clean design that adapts to the user makes it applicable for users of different abilities and their support persons. Overall the design and interactions appear to be well thought through and the app fills unaddressed gap. Fantastic work!”

– Michelle Hopgood RGD, Graphic Designer & Knowledge Manager at Martin Prosperity Institute

Understanding the user:

Interviews with transit users were conducted at the beginning of the project to understand their behaviours and frustrations with navigating Ontario public transit. Many participants expressed frustration with reading complicated system maps and making sense of route schedules. A pain point for tourists was understanding how to make fare payments. Users expressed that physical wayfinding and maps weren't enough to help them effortlessly navigate unfamiliar systems.

Map of target users/demographics


As I worked through the UI for the app, I gathered feedback from peers. I found that in my initial designs the type was too small on some screens. I also found that users were confused by all of the buttons that were presented. As I iterated on the design, I simplified the UI as much as possible without removing any of the important functionality of the product. I removed unnecessary buttons and I simplified the architecture of the app to make the service simpler, more approachable and easier to understand.

Earlier UI iterations

Final Design

Although this service is targeted to first-time Ontario transit users, this service could be used by anyone. The service is designed not to segregate users, one of the fundamental principle of universal design. The service aims to appeal to all users regardless of their age or ability. Large action buttons, symbols, and minimal amounts of content displayed on screen support this idea. The service is simple and intuitive, filtering information that is most important to the user. It is also flexible in use, allowing users the ability to customize their travel preferences and interact with the service in multiple ways.

Screens from the final design