Hackathon Project

Herzi, the BVG's

Herzi, the BVG Bot was designed and developed for the Hackerholz Hackathon 2016 in under 24 hours, sponsored by the BVG, where it won First Place.

Me and two colleagues joined Mobility Hacks, a competition to create something in the mobility space within 24 hours. We chose the BVG challenge.
We were inspired by their campaign Weil wir dich lieben to create a trip planning tool with an emotional connection, and some sense of humor.

We created Herzi, a chatbot that talks to you when you have a confirmed event coming up, and gives you updated public transport information on how to get there. All of this without requiring any input: it knows where you are, it knows where you said you’d go, so it suggests the best way.


Facebook Messenger Bots are still quite limited in their information display, so building the right way of showing your public transport directions was quite the challenge.
We used very simple pictograms to show different transport combinations for the user to pick quickly before proceeding to the detail screen.

Making the API talk

The BVG API was returning big JSON files with results, my challenge as designer in my team was to find how to display just the right information, and make it accessible within the constraints of the messenger spacing.
The bot ends up retrieving a list of swipable cards with quick instructions on transport and walking distances, enough for the user to make a choice.

Herzi goes a long way

Furthermore, we planned an integration with the Deutsche Bahn API, where Herzi could help you get to events that were away from your city using their train network.
Here’s a flow example on how you could also book long distance trains through Herzi.

Enjoy the demo!