Accessible NYC

My Role
UX/UI Designer and Motion Designer
Sara Park, Mariko Dreifuss and Yoojin Song
4 months
Figma, After Effects
Awards & Recognition

About the Project

Redefining The Big Apple

AccessibleNYC is an initiative started under Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2016, in an effort to make New York City the most accessible city in the world.


Most of New York City’s public transit system is not accessible-friendly, making it difficult for people with disabilities to navigate.


The Accessible NYC app aims to create a personalized experience based on accessibility type, interests, and needs.

User Persona

For the first phase of the project, we focused on 3 main disabilities: Hearing, mobility, and vision impaired users.

Empathy Interviews
From assumptions to insights

At first, we assumed that our users would benefit from having interactive screens with helpful navigation information across the city. However, after interviewing them, we found out that it can be overwhelming instead of beneficial due to many factors like inaccessible height, complicated touch screens, and more.

Problem & Opportunities
Design Development
Diving deep into their needs

The accessibility FAB allows users to adjust how content is presented to them based on their needs.

a Personalized Experience

The onboarding process serves as an opportunity to get to know our user’s needs and personalize the app experience for each user.

Feature 1
Plan Ahead

We found that our users need to know information regarding accessibility features like wheelchair-accessible entrances or audio descriptive services before heading out to their destination, which can be a tiresome process. The homepage features information about venues and events to make planning easier.

Extending to Wearable Devices
Get real-time alerts

This feature transcribes MTA alerts in case of unexpected route changes or emergency announcements through sound recognition.

Feature 3
Find a Community

We want to enable a safe place for like-minded individuals to interact, share their experiences, and support each other through our community.

Live streams

After the Covid-19 pandemic, in-person social interactions have become harder. We want to enable social interactions through live streams where anyone can create content.

Design System
Simple & Perceivable
Wrap Up
  • We learned the importance of empathy interviews. They played a critical role in assisting us to understand the unrecognized, real-world challenges faced by individuals with disabilities on a daily basis.
Next Steps
For the second phase of this project, I would like to expand our features to target the needs of users with cognitive and speech impairments.
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