Case Study: Wicked Problem- City Mobility

The first project during my Ironhack UX/UI Bootcamp was a group project. The task was to tackle a “Wicked Problem.”

A wicked problem is, essentially, a big problem with many things inside it that needs to be solved.

My group chose to tackle City Mobility.

The goal was to address the complications faced by commuters in various metropolitan areas by creating an app, which included developing a wireframe with the appropriate user flow.


During this project we gained experience with surveys and interviews. And, to kick start our research we completed a Lean Survey Canvas. By working through the canvas, we were able to quickly develop survey questions. We created the survey using Google Forms, then released it into the wild with the goal to target commuters.


Using the quantitative data we received from the survey we were able to flesh out interview questions to get qualitative data and gain more insight about the thoughts of our users.


Who are we designing for?

Affinity Diagram

My group completed the affinity diagram in 2 rounds. After grouping all of the data points into larger groups, we went back and refined the data into subgroups. This allowed us to really pinpoint the as trends amongst the data, as well as pain points, which were:

(1) Traffic caused by construction

(2) Traffic in general

Once we analyzed all of the data, we were able to narrow in on two major pain points for users — traffic caused by construction, and traffic in general. This led us into our How Might We statement.

(Fun Fact: My group actually had 2 rounds of this step as well. For our 1st go-round, we fell into a common newbie trap — Solving problems before defining and ideating solutions. Although it was a setback, we were able to recover quickly by going back and looking at our data).

After revisiting the data, we revised our How Might We, making it more specific and directly based on the data.

Empathy Map & User Persona

To flesh out who our users were, we created an Empathy Map using the data points, then a User Persona Map. (Say hello to Mrs. Jackson!). The empathy map and persona allowed us to define the problems the users were having with commuting.

Mrs. Jackson


After looking at the data, we were able to define the problem. This, for me, was the easiest part of the process. Having all of the data from our research and empathize phases, really allowed us to hammer out a problem and hypothesis statement.


Our product was designed to inform commuters of how construction will affect their commute. We have observed that the popular products are not meeting users goals of avoiding high traffic and interference caused by construction which is causing user dissatisfaction with the service.


We believe creating a product for commuters ages 25–35 will achieve providing that will inform users of how construction will affect their commute . We will know we are right when conducting user surveys and measuring daily sessions.

To illustrate the opportunities for design, we developed multiple storyboards and collaborated on a User Journey Map. The storyboard gave us the opportunity to create a visual story to illustrate a specific storyline. The User Journey Map showed us the specific opportunities for design and when the user would be using our Mobility app.

Journey Map


This is where things got technical. After a few sessions of Crazy 8’s, we settled on a lo-fi concept to test out. We created our prototype in Figma, then uploaded it into Maze, which is an online usability testing website which allows for remote testing using low to high fidelity prototypes. Once the prototype was uploaded into Maze, we sent it to as many users who commute to, and within, the city as possible.


Lo-Fi Concept Test

…and AGAIN, but make it Mid-Fi

The key word here is : COLLABORATION. Being a group of 4, there were so many ideas and interpretations. We were able to effectively and collectively update our user flow, while also including more screens for the app.

Mid-Fi Concept Test


  • You are NOT the User: Don’t try to plan process as if you are the user.
  • Don’t define the problem for the user, listen to what they say
  • Back it up with data
  • Do. Not. Skip. The. Ideation. Process.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Leesa Williams

Leesa Williams

Wife and mom of four, aka CIRCUS RINGMASTER.