Ralph Buan is a purpose-driven designer and user researcher creatively tackling social problems using a human-centered approach.
A multi-modal trip planner and integrated payment system for SMC students to make their commute seamless, convenient, and fun.
We were challenged to create an interactive system that solves a mobility issue in Los Angeles. Through observations and research near the SMC campus, we found that there is a lack of coordination between the many transportation offerings in Santa Monica. Many commuters, especially SMC students, are using these options in conjunction with each other though each requires a distinct entry and payment process, making trips inefficient and cumbersome.
After talking to students at the nearby Expo Station, we discovered that commuters have varying mobility needs depending on factors such as time of day, cost, or convenience. They want to take advantage of the many travel modes available to them but the means to access them are siloed and inconvenient. By simplifying and streamlining their trip in advance, student commuters can make better decisions that support their needs.
Metro Chat is a multimodal trip planner and integrated payment system for SMC students to make their commute seamless, convenient, and fun. This AI-powered mobile application lets users schedule, book, and pay for their trips in advance, while giving them easy access to the array of mobility options available, such as the bus, train, e-scooters, and more.
Fruitful is a mobile application that allows families to view food inventories at nearby food banks and food pantries.
Many food pantries don’t have the means to provide a variety of nutritional foods to those in need. Individuals and families take what they can from these donation centers yet may not be getting all of their nutritional needs met. Is there a way to give families more choices when receiving food from community pantries?
Most pantries operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, limiting the availability of nutritious items for those in need. By allowing individuals and families the ability to view food options ahead of time, we empower them and give them agency to provide and make healthier choices for their loved ones.
Fruitful is a mobile application that allows families to view what is in stock at nearby food banks and pantries. Families can find nearby food pantries, view their food inventories, and reserve a pick-up time so that they can plan ahead and make healthier choices.
In partnership with Activision, my team designed a player ratings system for the COD companion app.
Activision challenged us to create an engaging social feature for the Call of Duty companion app that helps players connect with one another. In Warzone, knowing your teammates’ play styles contributes to a fun and successful team experience, which is difficult if you are playing with people you’ve never played with before. A major challenge for this project was combining multiple ideas into one streamlined system that works in conjunction with each other while keeping the solution focused.
The lack of information about other players can make it difficult for players to find the right type of people to play and successfully communicate with mainly because of the varying, and often conflicting, play styles of Call of Duty players. There should be a way to get matched with players that have certain traits or roles of one’s choosing so that they can have better success and more fun together as a team. Players tend to gravitate toward certain roles when placed in a team; Some are natural leaders that like to direct and strategize while others enjoy more of a supportive position. It’d be helpful for players to see what roles their teammates prefer before a match begins so that they can plan and adjust accordingly.
We developed a new function in the COD companion app that helps users find their role in a team through a player rating system. Users can rate their teammates from the last game they played with tags that represent various roles and traits. Through this system, users would be able to see the types of tags that their teammates have prior to the start of a match, which communicate roles and play styles, contributing to a more positive and successful play experience.