George Wang

March 2020

New York City Subway App



  • Product Design
  • UX/UI
  • Prototyping
  • User Research
  • UX/UI



The MTA is one of the busiest public transit systems in the world, yet it is lagging behind in terms of digital adoption. With the implementation of digital kiosks and payment solutions, the next step for the MTA is to build an app called to enable mobile ticketing. Here is my design for OMNY.


When someone takes the MTA, the worst experiences are when they unexpectedly don’t have enough balance in their card and have to line up to buy a ticket. No matter what, the final design needs to minimize the chance of the user getting caught off guard when they’re trying to use the subway.


OMNY allows the user to select a payment method, load a balance onto their mobile ticket account, and “activate” the mobile ticket when entering so it can be scanned. In addition, users can review their past transactions and trips.


I started by observing people near the subway entrance as they used the ticket machine and swiped their MetroCards to get into the subway. I also interviewed riders about their experiences using the MTA. From my interviews, one takeaway is the sheer diversity of people using the MTA. I crystallized my findings into personas and journey maps of the existing process of buying tickets and using the MTA. To keep my design user centered, I established a number of design principles based on my research findings: 1/ Minimize the learning curve for both new users and existing users 2/ No surprises during the trip Based on a base of solid user research, I envisioned what product would look like by 1/ listing tasks the user should accomplish 2/ creating the ideal product journey 3/ creating a UX flow 4/ sketching and wireframes

Design System

To minimize the learning curve for both new and existing users, I designed the ticketing options to be similar to that of the MTA machines, and used skeuomorphism to convey the status of whether the NFC is activated. (i.e. when the user holds the activate button, the MetroCard would slide into position) The app is comprised of two screens: one for adding value to their OMNY account and using it at the turnstile; another for browsing through past transactions and trips. As for branding, I designed OMNY’s look and feel to be consistent with the MTA’s existing branding, using their official colors and typography.

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