In My Seat Workshop 3: Prototyping a new digital service for public transport users

 

We are creating a digital experience which will make your bus journey more enjoyable and more interesting by linking you to various types of content, including local information, mini-games, and user-generated content, through your specific seat or vehicle.

You are invited to take part in a workshop on Wednesday 15th August at 2pm, taking place in A19 of the Nottingham Geospatial Building on Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham. The workshop will last approximately 1 and a half hours.

The aim of the workshop is to interact with, refine, and feedback on paper prototypes and mock-ups of the service which will then feed into the development of the app.

We are particularly interested in

  • When and how you would access different types of content
  • How you would switch between different ‘modes’
  • What information you would save and/or share with other travellers

This will involve paper-based activities and discussion, and you will be thanked for your time with a £10 high street/Amazon voucher.

For more information, and to sign up for the workshop, please email Dr Liz Dowthwaite

 

In My Seat – Would you like to participate in our project?

Do you regularly use public transport in Nottingham?

Would you like it to be more enjoyable/informative?

 We are creating a digital experience which aims to enhance your everyday public transport journeys, making them more enjoyable and interesting by linking you to various types of content, including local information, mini-games, and user-generated content, through your specific seat or vehicle.

You are invited to take part in a workshop on the 25th of April, 2.00pm at the Geospatial Building (room A19), Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham. The workshop will last approximately 1 hour.

The aim of the workshop is to:

  • develop the types of content that you would find most useful and enjoyable
  • discover how you would like content to be presented to you
  • design forms of interaction between users and the content / experience

This will involve paper-based activities and discussion, and you will be thanked for your time with a £10 high street/Amazon voucher.

For more information, and to sign up for the workshop, please email Dr Liz Dowthwaite

‘Catch and Connect’ on Nottingham Buses

It’s Monday morning and I’ve just caught the 8.52am bus into the city, which I do every day for work. I show my travel card to the usual driver who nods, we don’t speak and I make my way to my usual seat, third row back, facing forward, on the left. I acknowledge one or two of the many faces I see every day, but we don’t speak. Familiar strangers. I get my phone out, put my earphones in, put my playlist on, put my head down and start to disappear into my social media, my emails, my photos, my bubble. I’m immersed, but become aware that the bus has stopped and people are starting to look up and around, no-body seems to know what is happening, but nobody speaks. I notice several people on CityCycles go past, something I’d quite like to try if I knew where or how to hire them. Finally the bus continues and people return silently to their phones. Despite rarely looking up, after making this journey twice a day for 3 years I instinctively know my stop is next, outside the Concert Hall. I often wonder what shows they have on and still keep meaning to find out, but never seem to find the time. I leave the bus, stopping to buy a coffee in the usual place, before walking the last 10 minutes along my usual route down the high street.

Unfortunately, not only can such everyday journeys on public transport take a notable proportion of our day, they can often be monotonous, isolating and largely unfulfilling experiences. What if we could address this situation by offering (bus) passengers ‘dynamic’ and additionally more enjoyable, engaging and relevant digital content, both enriching potential connections within the passenger ‘community’ on-board and also enabling connections to be made with the external environment, en route.  The ‘In my Seat’ projects aims to do this by offering pertinent, personalised passenger-driven content, both stakeholder delivered and user-generated, which can be accessed via a mobile app, linked directly to individual sensors in a passenger’s seat / vehicle.

For the passenger, such rich and context specific content may include a ‘today’s fun fact’ or joke left by a previous passenger, or an on-going, on-board bus game. More practically it may offer real-time notifications of potential delays, information on complimentary, sustainable transport e.g. city bike hire, or alternatively upcoming shows at a local theatre, or lunch time deals at cafes along the route. For the public transport operators and city councils, being able to identify when, where and how many people are using particular public transport modes e.g. buses, is invaluable in being able to ‘evidence’ need and demand and thereby align services and supporting infrastructure effectively.

With this in mind, the project will shortly run a series of stakeholder engagement and also user (passenger) design workshops to frame and (co-)design our initial concept(s) / mobile app. Outputs from these workshops will be subsequently posted on the ‘In my Seat’ blog.

Nancy Hughes, Research Fellow, Human Factors Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham