From the ground up: redesigning Auckland public transport user experience
Auckland has a vision to become the world’s most liveable city by 2040. The path towards a more liveable future requires that Auckland address its highly ineffective and unsustainable public transport network. Over the coming years, Auckland Transport plans to roll out a newly designed, high frequency network that reconsiders our current public transport network from the “ground up”. To achieve and maintain high frequency, a fundamental shift from direct service to connective service is required. The initial hypothesis developed was that the new network - a collaborative initiative between transport planners, council agencies, urban designers, engineers and government officials - had been designed from a “top-down”, system/network level, without first deeply understanding the experiences of its users.
This practice-based research project applies an inverse, ‘bottom-up’ approach to explore the role of a human-centred design methodology in addressing the physical and emotional complexities a connective network poses to service users. The project explores various design opportunities/interventions aiming to improve the user experience of public transport, focusing largely on the development of a graphic/interactive system that articulately communicates service information to public transport users. The practice applies human-centred, service design frameworks to develop a deep level of empathy for public transport users, whilst considering key stakeholders of the wider service and network.