Using Digital Technology to Help Users of Public Transportation to Cope when Experiencing Lack of Control: A User-centered Design Research

Jascha Viktor Monzer & Hoziar Isabella Qader

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Public transportation networks are widely recognized as a critical infrastructure for cities. They are deeply integrated into a city’s culture and a traveller’s every day. This form of transportation is crucial for a well-functioning city, as it provides an efficient way of mass transportation compared to private transport, such as the car. However, providing a coordinated service in a somewhat chaotic network is not possible without compromises which affect the individual traveller. As this design research presents, users often experience a lack of control when relying on public transportation resources. Accordingly, this thesis aims to help users to cope with this lack of control.
The research is a qualitative study, which follows an iterative design thinking process to explore the problem, ideate, prototype possible solutions, test and analyse the outcome. A total of 45 user interviews were conducted as well as a user workshop to ensure a user- and problem-focused process. Various service design practices were applied during the different design phases. The final iteration resulted in the design and prototyping of a digital application that provides user-generated content on a platform, based on the principal ‘users helping users’.
The final testing of the prototype demonstrates how and why various features and functionalities help the users to cope with the lack of control when relying on public transportation resources. The evaluation of the findings indicates that only some of the application’s features supported the coping process and led to additional conclusions regarding information load, customization and reliability of user-generated content.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and E-business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages131
SupervisorsRob Gleasure