Ever tried using Google Maps to get around Lagos by public transportation? It kinda makes one feel like you’re a JJC in a Francophone country trying to make sense of their road signs, but you don’t even understand a word of French – it’s all jargon in there. I’ve ranted about how unrelatable I find Google Maps bus directions here on TC and how I wished someone would build us an alternative. Apparently someone was listening.
Roadpreppers is a web-based app that looks to provide step-by-step navigation for public transportation commuters in Lagos, in a language they can relate to. Say I wanted to commute from somewhere Surulere to Computer Village, here’s what Roadpreppers directions look like:
Compare the directions form the above image to directions from Google Maps
Any idea what the 101 or 146 bus are? Didn’t think so.
Awesome idea, not so great implementation
Well, it sort of is my original idea. I think…. But, I digress.
I like what Roadpreppers is trying to do with this app. I’m not sure I can say the same about the user experience. I understand it’s still at the Alpha testing phase but a little constructive criticism wouldn’t hurt.
First off, direction loading times, not so cool. The time lapse between entering your destination and receiving bus directions in quite unbearable. Way too slow for the hustle and bustle of Lagos.
Second, the fields and buttons in the section where you enter your origin and destination (shown above) are rather too tiny. I fell like that section needs to be more conspicuous.
And I think the presentation would have been a whole lot better if direction headers were distinctly formatted. Like when it says “take Mini bus/ walk to s0-and-so bus stop “, such headers should have been differentiated from the sub-directions.
But the minor annoyances aside, I think I like Roadpreppers. Or at least the idea of it. The bus directions are far from 100% accurate. But at least they make more sense than Google Maps bus directions.
Roadpreppers was built by Samuel Odeloye, Opeoluwa Bada and their team of developers including Nnamdi Nwanze (Senior Developer). Samuel says Roadpreppers will include lots of other helpful features in future releases including, live traffic updates and route rescheduling, user-tailored discoveries and point-of-interests, and logistics planning / courier delivery systems all integrated with the platform.
You an access Roadpreppers on the web and mobile at Roadpreppers.com