Description of Bus Navigation System

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Before beginning the design phase of a bus navigation system, a task analysis was performed to gather user feedback.

The report includes a description of the application problem, the steps taken in carrying out the task analysis, as well as the results of that analysis, all of the design ideas generated, the rationale for selecting the design ideas, and critical design issues requiring additional data collection from the user population.

The application being proposed is a school bus navigation system.

It will be the first of its kind, an interactive cross-platform application which main purpose will be to show the location of the bus and the route being taken by the bus. The navigation system will also show the time of pick-ups and drop offs at various bus stops and other locations. With this feature, parents can relax about their children missing the school bus or staying unattended at a bus stop, or any other drop off point. Traffic information, regarding all possible routes that the school bus can take, will also be included as a feature. This will minimize the total time taken to reach the school by avoiding traffic jams and accidents on particular routes. The navigation system will monitor the bus speed especially on routes that have speed restrictions; information about the same will be displayed on the application as well. In case of suspicious activities along a route which the bus is taking, or in case of public panic, concerned parents can interact with the school support stuff regarding the condition of the children and how to get them to safety swiftly.

Data Collection Results

Two methods of data collection were used: interviews and surveys. Interviews were used as a gateway for the administration of survey questionnaires. Parents, school administration, and members of staff at the transport department were interviewed in order to get the general view regarding the adoption of a school bus navigation system and also to come up with substantive survey questions, for example, regarding the issue of privacy. Through interviews, most of the user population sampled supported the idea of a bus navigation system, the majority being parents. The data collected from survey questionnaires showed that majority of those who were supporting a navigation system adoption were supporting it because of increased convenience, and better scheduling and time allocation. When asked about the challenges faced when choosing routes, the most featured challenge was getting stuck in traffic. Call-to-action commands would enable students to notify the bus that they are ready for pick up at a particular location. This feature had very low support among the user population. Most of the parents preferred to take their children to school themselves should the child miss the bus. The students failed to support it because the feature would inconvenience majority of them when the driver has to turn around every time a student calls to get picked up.

Design Choices

Design #1

The main page consists of a floating drop-down menu which is consistent in all pages. The drop-down menu contains links to the following pages: Route Progress, Traffic Information, ETA, Pick Up, and Support. On startup, the application takes the user to Route Progress as the main page. This page consists of a map of all the routes taken by the bus, a small bus icon representing the location and direction of the bus, and a light-green color on the route to represent uncovered distance in the direction the bus is taking on that route. The current bus speed and velocity restrictions of the route the bus is taking are displayed at the screen’s top center. The top right corner contains the direction icon, which upon touch asks the user to input the starting point and destination parameters. The bottom of the screen contains a text box that interested parties can use to post their concerns. The posts are collected in a Support page, where the user can see other posts as well, updated by the second. The Support page also features a text box and a button: POST, on the top part of the screen. The center and bottom parts of the screen are blank to leave room for comments posted.

Traffic Information page consists of a map of the routes taken by the bus, and a video feed from available traffic cameras on the route selected by the user from a drop-down containing all the routes that the bus uses. The video feed is located at the bottom half of the screen, and the map on the upper half. The drop down containing the routes is placed at the top right corner of the screen.

The ETA page consists of a drop-down menu at the top of the screen and a map covering the rest of the screen. The drop-down consists of all locations where the bus stops to drop off and pick up children. The user chooses a location and the system calculates the estimated time of arrival of the bus using its speed and distance from the location chosen. The map then displays the location of the bus from the location chosen by the user.

Pick Up page directs the user to the call application on his/her phone and dials a number to an operations officer who instructs the driver to re-route the bus to pick up a student on a given location.

The idea was discarded mainly because the results from the data collection showed that the call-to-action command was not favored by a majority of the users sampled from the population. The strategic placing of the text box at the bottom of the main page for convenience proved ineffective because the same textbox could be found in the Support page.

Design #2

The second design idea is a lot similar to the first. The main page Route Progress is different from the first design in that the comment section at the bottom of the page is removed to avoid repetition and to improve aesthetics. The User Interface contains a floating drop-down menu much like the first design. The drop-down consists of Route progress, Traffic Information, ETA, and Support. The three remaining pages: Traffic Information, ETA, and Support are identical to those of the first idea.

The idea was preferred over the first one because it is generally an improvement as a result of comprehensive evaluation with reference to the data collection outcomes. The results showed that not many users preferred the call-to-action command, some citing that it would interrupt the laid out schedules. This feature would not be applicable in tablets. It was prudent to remove that feature so as to satisfy user demands.

The navigation system was to include the direction of houses and apartments where the children live. This feature has raised a lot of controversy regarding privacy issues. A percentage of the user population does not want directions to their homes listed on a cross-platform application with public access. The other users think it’ll ease the driver’s job especially when there are new students involved or when a particular family re-locates. A small portion of the user population had no opinion regarding this feature. This feature cannot be included based on the existing data. More data is required to be collected to make an effective decision.


After the data collection, the user preference, demands, and expectations of the bus navigation system were comprehended. The two design ideas originated and the second idea was chosen to move forward with after consulting with the data collection results.


Appendix 1: Interview Questions

Is there a need of a navigation system for the school bus?

Do not you think the issue of privacy will be infringed upon if the system was to be implemented?

Are you willing to participate in the study in a bid to help gather the required preferences for the system?

Appendix 2. Bus Navigation System Survey

Please fill out this form completely.

How old are you?

What is your gender?

Do you think navigation systems would be effective in showing the bus location? Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

Would you support the idea for implementing a navigation system in the school bus? Yes No Unsure

Provide an explanation if you answered No.

Do you think parents, teachers, and vendors should be involved collectively for better outcomes? Yes: because everyone’s views count No. Deal with vendors

Do you think a navigation system that is able to locate the position of a bus and students in a building infringes on your privacy?

Yes No Not sure

Is the issue of having to determine the distance or location of the bus a worrying trend? Never Some of the time Most of the time All of the time

A navigation system which determines the location of the bus and house numbers would be proficient? Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

If Yes, explain in detail.

Have you had serious challenges when it comes to determining the location of the business or even routes that buses have been restricted from passing?

Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

If you strongly agree, explain some of the challenges encountered.

Should the system be designed to integrate with as many platforms as possible?

Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

Should the navigation system be integrated with the call-to-action commands that could be used to notify the bus students that need a pick and at what time?

Strongly Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Strongly Disagree

Have you ever interacted with such a navigation system previously?

Yes No Unsure

If you answered yes, what was captivating about the system?

The system met its functional aspect The system was appealing The system was user-friendly All of the above.

Provide an explanation if you answered No.

Would a smartphone or tablet be an ideal platform for the navigation system? Yes No Unsure

If Yes:

Smartphones are swift User-friendly Enjoyable All of the above

If you answered No provide the rationale:

Design #1

Design #2

June 12, 2023
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