Harshath.com

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The Real Cost of Transportation

September 2014

This was a solo project that worked on two angles: firstly, exposing the real cost of transportation in daily life, and secondly, designing a long form that encourages you to fill all of it.

Transportation shapes our lifestyle and our finances in many obvious and some not-so-obvious ways. With so many choices and options for transportation being available, estimating the actual amount of money we end up spending over a year requires fairly detailed calculations — something that is nearly impossible to do without a pen and paper. Also, given the amount of data that needs to be crunched, the task is a fairly tedious one.

Some screenshots.

This tool is designed to help you with these calculations. It is set up in the form of a questionnaire to ease you into the process of using it. During its design, several design considerations were consciously made, listed below.

Check it out

Interaction is a Two-Way Street

Since the user is investing their time to enter their details, they would hope to get something useful from it. By To persuade the user to proceed further and further in the form, we reward the user for each input by showing them more information. The principle is to "reward the user as early and as often as possible". This alleviates a big problem with long forms: the amount of time/effort required before the first payoff is obtained. Too often, a user may get bored before they finish it, or too impatient to finish it at all.

These are a couple of tricks I used to make the form-filling experience more rewarding:

A Playful Artifact

As mentioned above, the task of calculating the annual transportation cost can be rather tedious and boring. So I made sure that the interface is not boring and tedious as, especially in its first impression. Intentionally designed motion makes the form elements move about to show changes and direct attention as the user progresses through the form. The interface allows the user to change values and instantly see the transportation costs of an alternate reality, allowing them to go on their flights of imagination.


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