Tuesday, July 20, 2010

User Accounts and Better Bookmarks

In a previous post, I talked about some new features that would hopefully make life easier for users of the OneBusAway phone and SMS interfaces. Those new features actually launched last month, so I wanted to highlight them again in case you missed it.

So what's new?
  • User accounts: you can now login to OneBusAway
  • Bookmarks: manage your phone and SMS bookmarks from the web
Let's break it down. You've probably noticed the "Settings" link up on the nav bar, where you can currently set your privacy and search settings. We've added Registration and Login buttons where you can login to your account and transfer your settings between computers.

Once you've logged in, you'll notice some additional links on your settings page, including the ability to register a phone number with your account and manage your bookmarks. The best part is that once you've registered your phone number, managing your bookmarks online will also update your bookmarks on your phone and SMS.

The bookmarks feature is neat because it let's you setup bookmarks with:
  • multiple stops
  • custom bookmark names
  • route filters
This can be especially useful for the phone and SMS interfaces, where space and bandwidth are tight and you really want to limit the information you see from OneBusAway.

Does all this sound cool? Give a shot and let me know how it works. Thanks!

Monday, July 19, 2010

We want your feedback!

We're always looking for ways to improve OneBusAway. To make giving your feedback easier, we've launched an IdeaScale feedback site:

http://onebusaway.ideascale.com/

You can go there to submit new ideas and features and vote for the ones that are most important to you. We will use ideas submitted at the feedback site to help guide future development for OneBusAway.

It's also important to understand that we take more than just votes into account when picking our next task. We'll balance the popularity of a suggestion along with the time it will take to implement and the value impact of the feature. We practice Value Sensitive Design, which means we try to consider the human value impact of any new feature we add to OneBusAway. We consider values a variety of values when evaluating a new feature:
  • rider efficiency
  • community
  • trust
  • privacy
  • dignity
  • safety
  • efficacy/accessibility/self-reliance
  • indirect stakeholder values (ex. driver safety)
New technology doesn't always benefit everyone equally, so we want to do our best to look at new features in a principled way.