Mary Ann Badavi
Mary Ann is a UX designer, content expert and noodle lover based in Washington D.C.

MAB does DT

Developing a prototype

It’s hard to come up with a prototype when your prototype is so dependent on sound—and you don’t have any instruments in your apartment!


For my first lo-fi prototype, I simply sketched a 2D hallway of the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center station, with the appropriate lines. I assigned a musical note to each line: A for the 2 train, D for the 3 train, C for the B, E for the Q, G for the 4, and B for the 5. I purposely picked combinations that would create major chords, to avoid chord combinations that might cause sadness in moods. (Shoutout to the mapping episode of This American Life we listened to about everyday objects producing sad chords!)

Frustrated by my lack of keyboard (I used to have one in my old apartment), I used an online keyboard to recreate the note combinations I wanted. So for example, the 2/3 platform would sound like this:

As you go down the hallway from the main station, you would hear it as you approach the platform.

I also strung together all of the notes to form a “song” that would play at the Atlantic Ave stop (or if you were on a train approaching the stop). My thought is that these notes could be remixed by passengers in order to create new songs to play.

For my second prototype, I wanted something a little more interactive, where you would actually be able to hear the music while interacting with the prototype.

Using Adobe XD (for the first time!), I created different screens for each section of the station that would play different notes.

And now we wait for user testing!