top of page

Cute Commute

A cute commuting app for women

Frame 67 (1)_edited.png


Lewwanduuwe Dharmasena (Ruvini), Srishti Sirohi and Sneha Anand 


UI/UX Designer and Researcher


Figma, Teams, Google Docs, Procreate

Time frame

2.5 months







  • Explore the pain points of women on public transport

  • Discover what factors contribute to the cognitive load women experience when commuting

  • Explore our participant's discomfort beyond just the limitations of safety

  • How can we create a space of comfort for our user


  • Desk research to help support our main hypothesis

  • Each team member performed 2 in person interviews with eligible participants  that regularly commuted on public transport. 


After thorough analysis of our interviews and desk research, we started to find that women commuting on public transport thought of their commute as a place of isolation from the responsibilities of their lives. Our users claimed to enjoy disconnecting and playing video games, reading, listening to music or just zoning out. 


However, our demographic frequently experienced disturbances to their commuting safe space, these include but are not limited to people, noises, smells, crowds, among other factors. These disruptions often lead to discomfort, ultimately causing heightened cognitive effort when making commuting decisions.​



MVP Features

User Flow


​Meet our persona, “Shaina Lowell”. Shaina is a 27 year old master's student in Sydney. Shaina is busy with her studies, part-time job and is often tired from her day-to-day life. She likes to enjoy her commute reading and listening to new music, as it is the rare time where she finds herself disconnected from her responsibilities.


Because of this, when something uncomfortable happens on her commute, she feels too overwhelmed and tired to react and too isolated from those around her to acknowledge it. She would rather take the next bus and wait an extra 4 minutes if it means she could get a seat and not have to deal with loud crowds or a dirty train. Shaina loves her time during her commute, and really wishes she could just focus on what she enjoys instead of having to spend energy on these disturbances.

Screenshot 2024-04-08 at 3.35.49 PM.png

User Flows and MVP Features

We developed our core MVP features and user flows in detail before wireframing and prototyping to better guide and constrain our design process. Our MVP features consisted of commute overview and adjustments, commuting preferences and reporting disturbances. 

MVP Feature 1:

Add settings to your Cute Commute profile (does not include basic onboarding). Select your comfort and safety-based commute preferences for both day and night.

Task 1 (1).png

MVP Feature 2:

Inititate commute and ensure you’re taking the safest routes based on the suggestions and adjustments. 

Task 2.png

MVP Feature 3:

User can report a disturbance while commuting or a short period of time after commuting

Task 3 (1).png




Usability testing


Once our MVP features were defined based on our user research, we decided to jump into our design process by wireframing our flows. 

Frame 25 (1).png

Prototyping and Usability Testing

We tested our lo-fi wireframes internally and were able to move into a workflow of integrated usability testing while we developed our mid-fi prototypes. The team ended up working through three iterations of our mid fidelity prototype that were each tested with a unique participant that fit our user profile. Our tests consisted of four evaluation scenarios that encompassed our personas and our MVPs. The scenarios are as follow:

1. Setting up the preferences and adding a commute to Cute Commute. 

You are setting up your profile for cute commute. Select your comfort and safety-based commute preferences. Add a commute to the Cute Commute App to finish setting up.  

2. Adjusting your commute to make it more comfortable and safer on Cute Commute App. 

You are going to start your commute back home from work. You want to initiate this on the Cute Commute app and make sure you’re taking the safest routes based on the suggestions. 


3. Reporting a discomfort during the commute. 

You are on the bus. There is a disturbance on the bus caused by a crowd of loud people. The bus was also smelly and dirty. Report the disturbance on the Cute Commute app to notify others. 


4. Reporting a discomfort after the commute. 

You just got home after commuting. You realize that during your walk home, the road was isolated and poorly lit. It was scary and did not feel completely secure. Report this on the Cute Commute app to notify others. 

After testing we composed in detail heuristic evaluation charts that helped break down how to implement changes and recommendations. Overall the findings from our usability tests indicated and resulted in: 

Overwhelmingly positive reactions to the graphic design:

Partcipant's first impression was cheerful and excited to use something "cute" and approachable. For our final prototype, we decided to keep the playful and feminine aesthetic of the product in order to help provide a psychological sense of safety and lightheartedness. 

Users struggled to understand the urgency of the app's suggestions: 

User would ignore or not look at suggestions, leading them to get stuck during evaluations. The team decided to not rely just on a highlighting color, and added widget-like features to each that signified there were more options to choose from. 

Users struggled to locate the reporting button:

Reporting button got lost amongst other, less important, navigation menu features. The team decided to centralize it and use a highlighting color as a more visible signifier for the reporting button that helped solve this usability issue. ​

Main commute page was visually overwhelming:

Users had a hard time interpreting the information given as it was hard to read and locate. The team decided to reduce graphic outlines and unecessary text to the minimum. 


High Fidelity Prototype


Next Steps

High Fidelity Prototype

Home screen.png
Home screen (1).png
Home screen (3).png
Home screen (4).png
Home Screen with expanded walk.png


As I delved into this project, I became passionate about utilizing the app's graphic identity to create a sense of safety and comfort for our users. With the alarming rise of domestic violence against women in Australia, I firmly believe that Cute Commute can play a vital role in addressing this critical social issue that affects roughly half of the global population. Our team's creation has not only become a source of pride for me, but also a beacon of hope for a brighter, more supportive future. I eagerly look forward to continuing its development and unlocking its full potential to drive positive change.

Next Steps

The team has large aspirations for the future of Cute Commute. First, we want to add the ability to have friends on the app that can be notified when you get home to help accomplish our main goal of creating a network of women that support eachother. Our other largest priority is integrating Google Maps for easier map navigation and route creation. 

bottom of page