Getting citizens on board: the first TMaaS citizen research project
Kevin Sanders: “I designed a study where participants fill in a “mobility diary” - a set of cards on which you write down your travel plans and travel experiences after each journey. The participants carry the set of cards with them for two weeks, after which I interview each of them personally to ascertain their experiences. The cards are used as a reminder of their activities, serving as concrete examples for discussion during the interview. Whenever possible, we also use a mobility tracking app (Moves), which helps even more in mapping out user behaviour. The aim of this study is to find out which aspects of our platform relating to travel information are important to potential users.
Yes! More than 200 people signed up to take part in the end user research project. Out of the list of applicants, I selected 19 people of various ages, locations, travel behaviours and abilities. Later in the project we will approach the citizens of Ghent again and more people will be able to participate and share their feedback with us.
That’s correct. I used my project partners for a trial run of my methodology. This provided some ideas that we were able to report back to the development team. We identified the fact that travellers like to have information about their route, even when there are no abnormalities or disruptions. We also discovered that some people find that having accurate information boosts confidence when they are heading up the motorway.
I’m trying to extend the scope of the project because I believe that this is the only way we can really gain new insights. If you limit your research too much, you can’t learn new things. My goal is to put the citizens and their needs in the spotlights of the developers according to the principles of user-centred design.
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