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Question 3.1: Exploration

The Question 3.1: Exploration homework for Week 3 of Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society required me to explore alternative solutions to my design problem. I supported this exploration by producing a decomposition of the design problem and 10 alternative design concepts (labelled A to J) that address my user experience gap and meet the needs of the users.

Decomposition of design problem

q_3_1_decomposition_function_diagram

Alternative design concepts

A_card_reader
B_card_reader_increased
C_nfc_tag
D_nfc_smartphone
E_specific
F_install_more_readers

G: Install additional card readers/points on buses and trams.

H: Install more readers, remove all turnstiles at stations and then employ more roving staff to validate commuter transactions

I: Increase number of turnstiles/entry/exit points to allow more commuters to exit/enter station

L: Remove all pay points/turnstiles from stations and then fund public transport from in-transport advertising

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Question 2.2: User needs

The Question 2.2: User needs homework for Week 2 of Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society required me to interview at least five different individuals who I believed share my user experience gap and then identify their user needs. I was also required to:

  • refine the gap I’m addressing with a single statement
  • create a list of at least 30 user needs arranged into a hierarchy of primary and secondary needs
  • indicate one or more latent needs and label them with an exclamation mark (!).

Interviews

For my interviews, I asked Melbourne public transport users to share their thoughts on the existing ticketing system by asking them the following questions.

  • What do you like about the Myki ticketing system?
  • What do you find easy about using the Myki ticketing system?
  • What don’t you like about the Myki ticketing system?
  • What do you find difficult about using the Myki ticketing system?
  • What suggestions for improvements do you have?
interview_headMichael
  • Updating credits online for yourself and the family.
  • One card that can be carried in the wallet.
  • Quick swipe at the station, this can be efficient.
  • If the card is lost can lose the credit.
  • Not good for casual visitors and tourist to Victoria.
  • Poor customer service for problems solving
  • Sometimes the system cannot take bank card payment and you have to wait for a single customer service person to serve you
  • Cumbersome to resolve incorrect payment – you have to send the card into the office for credits
  • If large group of people can slow down swiping
  • Myki could become an app for your phone
  • Cleaner machines
  • More support staff

 

interview_headSam
  • Don’t need to buy ticket.
  • Can add credit online.
  • Card requires physical contact with reader which is sluggish, turgid and often doesn’t work.
  • Congestion at turnstiles caused by large group of commuters swiping their cards.
  • Large group of consumers at turnstiles.
  • Option for smartphone app.
  • Transaction without contact with reader.

 

interview_headJan
  • Single card.
  • Adding credit online.
  • Making physical contact with the reader (Can be difficult on crowded bus).
  • Adding credit at stations – Switching from display to EFTPOS swipe is cumbersome.
  • Finding a functioning card reader on a bus.
  • Contactless payment.

 

interview_headMary
  • Don’t have to buy paper ticket (Although I did use yearly train pass when they were around).
  • Sometimes swiping the readers can be easy (inconsistent).
  • Managing large crowd of consumers through turnstiles.
  • Malfunctioning readers can make it difficult to use transport.
  • Smartphone capability

 

interview_headJoan
  • Single card. Don’t need to buy different tickets for different zones within Melbourne’s public transport system.
  • Adding credit online.
  • Swiping the card can be sluggish, inconsistent and take a few times to engage properly.

 

  • Accessing card readers on a crowded bus, then being able to quickly scan card on departure from bus.
  • System that didn’t require direct/prolonged contact with the card.
  • Ability to pay with smartphone.

 

interview_head
Tre
  • Convenience of non-paper ticket.
  • Topping-up credit online.
  • Card readers can be slow.
  • Crowds waiting to go through turnstiles.
  • Inconsistent swiping with Myki card reader.
  • I’d like (option) to integrate my smartphone.

Refinement of my user experience gap

A solution that reduces crowding at card readers/turnstiles (transaction points such as buses and railway stations) and supports an efficient and affordable contactless ticketing system for public transport.

List of primary and secondary user needs

  • The solution functions across Melbourne’s suburban and regional public transport network
    • Can be used on trains, trams and buses
  • The solution reduces crowding at entry/access/pay points
  • The solution makes it easier to enter/exit public transport
  • The solution makes it easier to pay for public transport at point of use 
  • Solution incorporates commuters’ smartphones to make payment
    • Uses small amount of smartphone resources (Battery, storage space, processing, GPS)
    • Works on iOS/Android/Other (Device agnostic)
    • (!) Works/credit can be shared across a user’s multiple devices
    • Makes payment with/without user’s consent
    • Makes payment based on usage/location trends
    • Uses  smartphone accessibility functionality (touch/voice commands)
    • Affordable
    • (!) Available in languages other than English
    • (!) Permits available credit to be transferred from user to user
    • Integrates with other smartphone/web services
    • Functions/makes payment with network connectivity
    • Functions/makes payment without network connectivity
    • (!) Can make payments for multiple commuters (Family groups or travelling partners) on a single device
    • (!) Can offer travel/trip/route/timetabling advice to help avoid congestion and plan travel
    • Can offer service updates
  • The solution is unobtrusive and easy to use
    • Credit can be easily updated online
    • Requires minimal user effort
    • Automated features (Optional)
    • Can uses alternate payment  methods (direct debit/credit card/paypal)
    • Does not require direct contact with reader at pay points
    • Easily provides evidence of user’s transaction/payment when required
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Question 2.1: Design problem definition

The Question 2.1: Design problem definition homework for Week 2 of Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society required me to refine the definition of the design problem (my user experience gap from Week 1) using the five-whys methodology and then create a list of problem statements arranged from most general to most specific, with particular emphasis placed on the problem statement that may serve as my course project.

In what way might I…

  1. Make it easier for consumers to pay transport fares and access transport services
  2. *Reduce congestion at ticketing/pay-points (turnstiles/card readers) throughout the public transport network
  3. Reduce the need for additional hardware/cards/tags to facilitate payment
  4. Improve the public transport ticketing system experience
  5. Use consumers’ devices to facilitate payment/ticketing

The five whys (*for the nominated design problem definition) [BROAD]

  • Question: Why do I want to reduce congestion at ticketing/pay points (turnstiles/card readers) throughout the public transport network?
  • Answer: Because I want commuters to be able to access public transport services safely, comfortably and efficiently.
  • Question: Why do I want commuters to be able to access public transport services safely, comfortably and efficiently?
  • Answer: Because I want people to be able to move throughout the city and state without relying on a car
  • Question: Why do I want people to be able to move throughout the city and state without relying on a car?
  • Answer: Because not everyone can drive and I want people to go to school, tafe, uni and educate themselves
  • Question: Why do I want people to go to school, tafe, uni and educate themselves?
  • Answer: I want people to increase their knowledge and skills and increase their economic value to society
  • Question: Why do I want people to increase their knowledge and skills and increase their economic value to society? 
  • Answer: I want people to be able to work and provide for themselves and their families.

How might I… [FOCUSED]

  • How might I reduce congestion at ticketing/pay points (turnstiles/card readers) throughout the public transport network?
  • How might use technology to modify ticketing/payment and improve access to public transport?
  • *How might I use commuters’ own devices to enable ticketing/payment and access to public transport?
  • How might I augment existing ticketing/pay point infrastructure with new technology?
  • How might I improve existing ticketing/pay point infrastructure without creating another widget?
signs_indicate

Observing a user’s use environment

Signs (in the workplace about kitchen etiquette) and homemade solutions (waste receptacle for smokers and their refuse) to solve problems in a user’s use environment can be an indication of their needs not being met. Observing a user’s use environment can help you to identify their needs, how those needs are (not) being met and help to inform any decisions you might make about addressing their user experience gap .

Smokers who are no longer permitted to smoke outside their own workplace now smoke outside mine. Previously they dropped their cigarette butts on the footpath and threw their coffee cups and other refuse in the garden. Recently, they've provided their own temporary waste receptacle to enable them to discard their waste.

Smokers who are no longer permitted to smoke outside their own workplace have now started smoking outside my workplace. Until recently, they dropped their cigarette butts on the footpath and threw their coffee cups and other refuse in the garden. They’ve now placed a waste receptacle in the garden which provides a place for them to effortlessly discard their waste.

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Question 1.3: Visual expression 1 – The basics

The Question 1.3: Visual expression 1 – The basics (V) homework for Week 1 of Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society required me to draw a sketch of a chair. The goal of this assignment was to get me comfortable with the basics of sketching to ensure I can create a quality output of the visual expression of my designs.

q_1_3_sketch_chair

Apparently, the Bentwood chair is a classic chair that was designed more than 100 years ago and suits all manner of cafes and dining rooms, from French bistros to modern cafes and upmarket restaurants. Really? We found our set of fours on the side of the road prior to a hard-rubbish collection.

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My gap

The Question 1.2: Find the gap homework for Week 1 of Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society required me to identify things that annoyed me or caused me extra effort, time, money or discomfort throughout my day and then list 10 user experience gaps that could potentially be diminished or mitigated by an artifact (product or service). I was then required to choose one of these user experience gaps to serve as the basis for my course project.

My user experience gap

My user experience gap is a solution that supports and encourages an efficient and affordable contactless ticketing system for public transport.

This meets the course project criteria because it solves the problem of congestion at stations and inefficient transfer of passengers on public transport caused by the technical constraints of existing public transport ticketing system. The solution would require the creation of a software artifact that operates on smartphones as well as a program that supports the delivery, integration and adoption of the solution.

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Question 1.2: Find the gap

The homework for Week 1 of Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society required me to identify things that annoyed me or caused me extra effort, time, money or discomfort throughout my day and then list 10 user experience gaps (solutions to actual or perceived user experience issues that could be used as a course project) that could potentially be diminished or mitigated. One of these user experience gaps is to selected as the basis for my course project.

10 user experience gaps

  1. A wearable appliance that transmits information/permission required to access rooms/buildings and operate an electronic device as well as accurately input data from a touchscreen interface.
  2. A device or service that blocks unwanted noise (headphone leak) in public spaces (public transport)
  3. *A solution that supports and encourages an efficient and affordable contactless ticketing system for public transport. This user experience gap is to be my course project.
  4. A flexible material/fabric or surface that remains polished/glossy after prolonged wear that would be suitable for footwear.
  5. A service that strategically sorts and prioritises emails and tasks based on sender, urgency and project timelines and deliverables (Everything can’t be urgent).
  6. A carry bag/backpack/satchel with self-illuminating interior that makes it easier to identify contents of the bag such as keys, pen or wallet in the dark
  7. A wallet or similar device that remains closed even when it’s holding a large amount of change.
  8. A garment (shirt, pants or both) with provision to hold a small mobile  device that can be easily accessed and operated without causing the wearer discomfort or causing the clothes to fit incorrectly.
  9. A product or service that informs bus drivers they’re required to stop for passengers at a bus stop.
  10. A product that negates or mitigates unusually strong cologne in public spaces
q_1_2_myki

The myki card and reader fitted to the turnstile at a metropolitatn station in Melbourne, Australia. The myki system is supposed to be contactless, but it’s not. Not only does it require prolonged contact which contributes to congestion at the turnstiles, it’s sluggish and turgid. It also took a long time for the system to be implemented at much cost to the taxpayer.

q_1_2_mfd_console

A console of a multi-function device (MFD) used to produce photocopies and scan documents. A stylus (that is prone to going missing) is the only accurate method to input data. In an urgent administrative situation, alternative input methods such as your finger or the end of a ballpoint pen or similar object can be used.

q_1_2_mfd_card_reader

This card reader permits the user to operate the multifunction device (MFD) to photocopy.

My exploration of how we learn and how we design and develop stuff that helps us learn.

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