The Boring Co.

A case study


The Boring Company is construction and tunneling firm that wants to help users skip the Los Angeles traffic by tunneling past the congestion. Our team explored through a case study a native app that would allow users to use these subterranean highways. The app would serve as an e-ticketing platform as well as help guide users on how to enter and exit the tunnel network itself.

The Challenge

To create a native iOS application that would serve as an
e-ticketing platform and efficiently guide users through
the Boring Company’s subterranean tunnel network.

UX Designer

Team Members
Hann-Wei, Alan Li

Sketch, Invision

2019 - 2 weeks

Native iOS

I.  Research


I began with surveys to really ground the preliminary research and to investigate if there were any trends or anything surprising. Surveys were also used to help confirm information and create a baseline of quantitative data.

Here's what I found:

1 or More Hours for Travel
More than half of those surveyed have a commute time of 1 or more hours.
Do not use public transportation
Those who own a car

Comparative & Competitive Analysis

With the the Analysis and Surveys providing the foundations of the preliminary research, several user interviews were conducted in order to gather more qualitative data of commuters.

User Interviews

The team collaborated in creating a comparison of other transportation focused services. A consistent theme across
the board was comparing public transportation infrastructure
and the features that helped better communicate scheduling
and updates.

II.  Synthesis

Affinity Mapping of User Interviews

With the first glimpse of human data a round of Affinity Mapping was complete in order to find consistencies and focus what features could help alleviate those issues.

Main Takeaways

  • Interviewees felt constrained by public transportation with inconsistent on
    time performance.
  • Comfort played a tremendous role in deciding if a person used public or private transportation.
  • Safety— issues of both a shared public space and road traffic


In order to humanize the situation and to reinforce user centered empathy a persona was created.

Meet Jane:  a reflection of the metrics and data gathered from exploratory research.

Jane's Journey Map

The journey map illustrates what many commuters, like Jane may
experience day to day across the greater Los Angeles area.


Jane is a makeup artist who has clients all over the greater Los Angeles area.
A long time client schedules for a rush appointment across town in Santa Monica.
During her rush to beat traffic, Jane forgets something critical: her clients favorite
eye shadow. She is forced to make another stop before seeing her client.

By the time Jane arrives at her destination she is stressed, late, and unable to
put out her best work.

III.  Design


Drawing out the story from the user’s point of view helps a designer visualize what it may feel like for a potential user.

Main Takeaways

  • unplanned trips during peak traffic times often stops users from commuting when they want to. Assuring the user of the speed and efficiency of the product was  important to emphasize.
  • The ordering and experience had to be seamless with minimal effort on the part of the user.


The first sketches provided some of the basics of the visual language that I wanted to follow. Although crude they allowed me to construct a more complete picture of what Jane could be expecting to help her.

Design Studio

A Design Studio allowed the team to collaborate and quickly narrow down ideas. Starting with each team member’s  designs the team was able to prioritize core features while trimming unnecessary elements. It also allowed the team to debate and defend
design choices.

Main Takeaways

  • Many of our designs were inspired by existing transportation services.
  • Location and clarity of routes
    was key.

Usability Testing

Testing came in the form of a low fidelity paper prototyping on a mobile platform. Users were then tasked  to set up both a new account and their payment method.

Main Takeaways

  • Need for auick access to upcoming trips/tickets
  • Want to quickly add information


A medium fidelity wireframe provided a cleaner understanding of the digital design.

What I wanted to accomplish

  • Legibility of features
  • Efficiency for the user


The style guide focused on creating a clean design that
was easy to learn and use for a variety of potential users.

The vibrant yellow presents an energy that hints at speed and efficiency— core principles of the product.

The white and black create a contrast that is highly legible,  and helps communicate information clearly.


Here it is!