Ironhack’s Prework: Challenge 1 Design Thinking

Leesa Williams
4 min readDec 15, 2020


Welcome to my journey of discovery into the world of UX/UI with Ironhack. The first challenge was based on the Design Thinking Process. Totally not intimating at all. Let’s DIVE ON IN!


Design Thinking, at its core, is a protocol for solving complex problems and discovering new opportunities, by devising desirable solutions for clients/users.

Cool, cool. So how do I use it?

Enter, the. CHALLENGE.

To kick everything off, I was provided with a real client, Citymapper.

A little background:

Citymapper is a public transit and mapping service released in 2011. Founded by former Google employee Azmat Yusuf, the app functions on Android, iOS, and Mobile Wed operating systems. The Citymapper app combines real-time data from all public transit modes offered throughout the services area to give users multiple transition options daily.


So let’s investigate, shall we?

You can do this by talking to potential users using interview techniques, observing them using ethnographic techniques, or taking their role for a period of time.

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Ask some people some stuff, and get some insight, kay?

The Interview Questions:

  1. What do you think about the Citymapper app?
  2. When do you normally use the Citymapper app?
  3. How often do you use it?
  4. What do you like/dislike about it?
  5. How does this problem impact you?
  6. If you could, what would you change about the app?

Main Problems:

  • Losing tickets
  • Keeping track of types of tickets needed per trip.
  • Receipts for reimbursements through employers.


Put it all together ya whiz you!

synthesize your findings and define a problem statement from that empathy work, focusing on the user’s viewpoint.

Here’s what I came up with:

Commuters need a way to consolidate purchased tickets, because they want to minimize the amount of different tickets per transit mode they have to keep track of.


Ideate = Ideas…get it ?

The goal is to come up with as many as possible in order to encourage innovation.

Photo by Diz Play on Unsplash

Many ideas came to mind, but after some reflection I noticed a connection between them.

Create a loadable ticket to be used across all transit modes. This will reduce the various types of tickets per transit mode needed by the commuter to just one ticket. The users balance can be accessed and adjusted within the app.


Okay, stay with me now.

After you come up with a “good” idea, you need to validate it. The simplest way to do this is to build a prototype.

To solve the many ticket problem, Citymapper users can instead use the app. From the Account Screen, users can view their balance, load and print their ticket based on their selected commute. On the Load Screen, users can increase their balance and adjust the currency if necessary. The next screen, the Trip Tracker, keeps track of the transit modes and prices which can be emailed or printed for employer reimbursement.


During this design challenge, determining the flow between the screens within the app was the most challenging. There are so many variables to dissect in order to create the best and most fluid experience for the user. I could use a whole lot of practice in this area as evidenced in my 3-screen prototype. Despite my prototyping shortcomings, the design thinking process was actually pretty fun. Having a background in teaching definitely helped me connect some of the exploratory concepts, and I am excited to learn more.