The hidden face of the STIB-MIVB digital ticket
- 06 Feb 2024
Behind every digital innovation, there are often technical skills and passionate experts. This is the case with the digital ticket issued by STIB-MIVB, the Brussels public transport operator. Thanks to this digital innovation, travelers can now buy their Brupass (XL) ticket instantly via the STIB-MIVB application.
This digital ticket is the result of a fruitful collaboration between the STIB-MIVB, Smile and neopixl. Mobile experts, UX/UI designers and developers: a dedicated team has contributed to the creation of the digital ticket from design to implementation.
Integrating this new feature into the STIB-MIVB application represents major challenges. What is behind this innovation?
How do you ensure a consistent experience without overloading the user?
Our expert designers from Smile and neopixl provided the solution: Rethink the user experience to reorganize the structure of the application. Users can now find MOBIB cards and digital tickets, for which new interfaces have been created.
This is not the only change to the application. The graphic identity has also been adapted to incorporate new graphic components such as digital tickets and the shopping basket, which are new features in this version.
Accessibility, a STIB-MIVB pillar
Making Brussels transport accessible to everyone is at the heart of the STIB-MIVB's ambitions. To meet this major challenge, the Smile and neopixl teams have joined forces with the STIB-MIVB teams to extend this accessibility to digital experiences.
The digital ticket has been designed with this philosophy in mind. When it comes to accessibility on a mobile application, various constraints are added to the creation process. This means using the application with the phone's accessibility options. For example, the voice-over feature on the iPhone makes it easier for people to use the phone. Enlarged text is another accessibility option that has been taken into account: Phones can increase text size by up to 300%. So designers and developers need to ensure that text remains legible, without being truncated, even when it is significantly enlarged.
In addition, there are interface design constraints, such as contrast rules, which impose certain ratios. For example, black text on a white background will have a very high contrast, whereas dark blue text on a light blue background will be less legible.
Taking all these considerations into account makes the design process more complex. Responding to all these constraints is a real challenge, but it also ensures accessibility for all users.
An unprecedented collaboration for the Belgian mobility sector!
Beyond the digital innovation at STIB-MIVB, the digital ticket is the fruit of inter-operator collaboration between STIB-MIVB, SNCB, TEC and De Lijn! At the request of the Belgian Mobility Card (BMC), a transport product has been created that is unified across the country and easy for passengers to use. A first in Belgium!
A common mobile ticketing module
Behind this common ticketing system is a mobile ticketing SDK module developed by an external company: Digimobee. It's a kind of toolkit that works for all operators and includes product catalog management, activation, and control via a dynamic QR code.
Each operator was then responsible for integrating this module into its application, working with Digimobee to ensure that it met the specific needs of each application.
The neopixl and Smile teams have integrated this module into the iOS and Android versions of the STIB-MIVB application to ensure it meets the STIB-MIVB’s needs:
- Enable passengers to travel using their mobile phone;
- Prevent fraud;
- Display ticket information.
To guarantee high-quality interaction between each application and the back-ends of the other operators, numerous inter-operator compatibility tests have been carried out. For example, the Lijn application can be used to open the STIB-MIVB gates, and an SNCB or TEC ticket inspector can check the validity of a ticket from the STIB-MIVB application.
In addition to integrating the modules, the Smile teams also integrated the payment part of the application, creating unique payment flows for the STIB-MIVB: validating or rejecting payments, purchase history and proof of payment.
Complex digital solutions
The creation of the STIB-MIVB digital ticket demonstrates the hidden complexity of combining technological innovation, close collaboration between various players in the sector, and an understanding of specific business and user needs. The STIB-MIVB digital ticket reveals that true success lies in the ability to turn complexity into opportunity, by creating innovative solutions tailored to the changing needs of our digital era.
“Our transversal approach perfectly suits STIB-MIVB’s unique challenges. From design to development, we create integrated solutions tailoredto their internal systems. Our collaboration enables us to offer innovative functionalities such as the digital ticket, which is our latest innovation!“
Sébastien Kalb, Senior Lead iOS Developer, Smile