— A Disability Awareness System
Planning a journey on public transport can
be a challenging experience, particularly for those with physical and learning disabilities, older people, as well as families. A service design solution shall help to facilitate dignified and equal travel for all on Irish public transport.
Bodystorming, Service Safari, as well as several in-depth interviews with disabled people, led to the definition of 10 different design challenges around accessibility on public transport. Followed by an ideation workshop and two rounds of low-fidelity prototype testing, the final service design concept was created.
The finalized concept "Less Pace, More Space" is explained in a video to visualize the idea and its main components of signs, patterns and a sound system in the Irish public bus service. The pilot plan outlines further steps needed for implementation.
BODYSTORMING & SERVICE SAFARI In order to better identify and understand the main issues on a day-to-day public transportation trip as disabled people, we tried to get immersive insights by exposing ourselves to the situation. Within 5 hours we used trains and buses of the local transport network as well as related infrastructure and service assistance. It should be noted that the method can in no way reflect the experiences of disabled people, but it can be seen as a helpful introduction to the topic.
INTERVIEWING In order to validate the problems we found and to listen to personal experiences of disabled people, we conducted in-depth interviews. In addition, we also conducted interviews with public transport staff to consider both perspectives.
How might we
inform bus goers on the variety of user priorities to enable
better decision-making regarding appropriate use of space?
IDEATION WORKSHOP After coming up with 9 HMW questions, we sought student support to scribble initial ideas. The workshop lasted 1 hour with 24 participants, including idea-sharing slots after each ideation. After this ideation session, we focused on the above-mentioned challenge.
CONCEPT MAP After voting and improving the idea scribbles, we developed a final storyboard. This focuses on the tension between the passenger types of buggy users and wheelchair users. When sharing public buses, there is often the question of the right prioritization. To address this problem, we developed the idea of different sub-areas within the buses, which are visually identified by patterns. In case of incorrect use of these areas by passengers, a sound system should alert the passengers to their misbehavior.
PROTOTYPE TESTING We tested the sound system and the patterned areas as a low-fidelity prototype. We assigned the roles "wheelchair user", "buggy user" or "non-diable passenger" to the test participants to see whether the designated areas in the bus were understood and used. The tests found that areas need to be more clearly marked and that the type of sound plays an important role in ensuring that passengers do not feel exposed and that they are told what to do in an understandable way.
“Less Pace, More Space” is a Disability Awareness System
that uses textured patterns, light and audio to indicate designated
bus areas for users with specific needs on an Irish public bus system.
The awareness system is designed to accommodate bus users with
disabilities both physical and invisible, as well as buggy users and
to educate all passengers about the prioritization of travel space.
PATTERNS The three patterns are shown here serve as visual indicators of areas for buggy users, wheelchair users, and people with invisible disabilities. Strong colors and repetitive use of icons are used to visibly separate areas on the bus.
FINAL CONCEPT VIDEO
STAKEHOLDER PRESENTATION The final presentation of the results took place in the presence of the leaders of Access for All, who are committed to barrier-free accessibility in public transport.
Date October / November 2021
Client Access for All Ireland
Team Ashleen Nee, Glen Forde
Role Service Designer
© Linda Klotzbach 2022
© Linda Klotzbach 2021
© Linda Klotzbach 2021