Gosh it’s good to get the presentation over with! I was quite pleased with how we did.
Overall I felt that the feedback was good but our clients seemed divided in their ideas. It seemed that some one did not agree with the idea of queuing, while another thought educating patrons on how to use public transport well was a great idea. Another seemingly conflicting opinion was that one liked the idea of moving the bus stop near the kerb, while another seemed to suggest that there are many legal constraints on what distance objects have to be from the kerb. Moving forward, I think we will have to tease the critique apart. Was it that one of our clients didn’t like the idea of queuing at all or more that our approach was too harsh? If it is our approach, then how can we soften it? Overall I’m feeling optimistic, and I think asking the right questions will really help us to take the next step moving forward.
Guided by our 3 concept levels of shelter, perch and floor, we choose our 3 strongest concepts, one from each concept level and came up with these 3 concepts.
– The first is a shelter that guides patrons through with its shape, the bars across the front serving as both protection and a guide for queuing.
– The second is ground markings. The advantage of this design is that it can easily work in conjunction with existing infrastructures and adaptable to different spaces.
– The last is a perch, with optional shelter. This concept’s strength is in it’s modular approach so that it can adjust to different sites and capacities.
I feel that these concepts each address the idea of flow quite well and encourage queuing so that patrons will use the often limited space more effectively, yet all do it in a different way.
After initially feeling a bit stuck in our sketching and prototyping, lego helped us to get back on track by giving us a fun but quick and productive way to nut our ideas together. From there we found it actually easier to break our concepts into 3 different levels, the shelter, the perch, and the floor markings. Originally, we all would share the 3 levels but found that members of our group seemed to worked best when given separate task so that each of us could focus on one concept area rather than taking all 3 on at once.
This was the step we had most trouble with, but overcoming that has made me realize that good group work doesn’t necessarily mean dividing up all tasks equally, but to take our separate concept generations paths and regularly updating each other on our favorite ideas for feed back worked a lot better than sharing and making every little decision as a group, especially during the generation phase when we can take the most liberty with all our ideas.
I decided to sketch what people tended to do while waiting and resting (esp at bus stops) as I think it’s important to look at what people do to try and stay comfortable at a bus stop. While sitting is probably the most comfortable, there is something very permanent about sitting – once you sit down, you don’t want to more or get up till you have to. I wanted to look at what other ways people use the things around them to find comfort, leaning and perching on various objects – often objects that aren’t provided for by their actual bus stop, can be valuable insight as to what people find comfortable that may not necessarily be a seat.
What started off as a joke became a reality when we realized how hard it was to explain our ideas to each other without 3d models. It felt a little silly at first, but lego gave us a way to very quickly and effectively prototype and help us explain to each the ideas we had. While CAD may be a more attractive way to model in 3d, lego had figures that we could pose and helped us imagine how the space will guide the flow of people, which was one of our key concept ideas.
Another thing I really liked about this method is that it was just plain fun. We were feeling a little stuck and bogged down, with ideas we couldn’t find an easy way to express. This helped us to relax a little while getting ideas out at the same time. May try this more often in the future.
I think opportunity statements are great for narrowing and focusing the brief to a particular set of patrons or persona, it does help to keep you focused and to keep your goals in mind, but I feel a little uncertain about focusing on 1 set of users so early on, when the patrons that use the bus stops are so very varied. I also feel that the structure is a little odd, because first you state what you want to do, then the user, their need, followed by your insight. But since what we want to do, is to fulfill the user’s need, it seems a little circular. While I think the first statement can be broad eg. “Improve the experience” to avoid repeating ourselves, but it feels a bit redundant to do so.
I think I would prefer the structure:
What we want to do to fulfill the need, of user, because of insight.
Says the same thing, but puts your goal first and foremost and removes the need for redundant information.
Final Opportunity Statement:
To evolve the bus stop experience for internationals who need extra reassurance, because they rely on clear, concise and accurate direction, to give them the confidence to travel alone in a foreign country.
I was quite uncomfortable with our opportunity statement at first, but after rewording and finalizing our statement, I feel a lot more comfortable with it.
We chose to focus on the internationals in our opportunity statement because we felt they have extra needs compared to the local user.
Our original insight, was that internationals needed reassurance through clear information, but we chose to use the word direction instead because we felt that information alone is not sufficient. You can put more information at the stop, but it is of no use if it’s not read or used, so that’s where direction, through prompts and cues can guide internationals and help them feel at ease.