Collaboration is a huge part of what we do at TfL. So it was great to spend last week working with 6 young designers, talking them through our approach to experience design and working on prototype ideas for the Cycle Hire scheme. Members of our Experience Design Team led the 5-day sprint at the London Transport Museum, where the event was part of the Designology studio programme.

Tabletop Walkthrough Map

We produced a range of materials – such as this Tabletop Walkthrough Map – to help students to get into the mindset of people using the Cycle Hire scheme

The brief

Having invited applications for this unique opportunity through this blog post at the end of June, the students who joined us for the sprint looked at the experience of new Londoners and tourists, and how we can encourage these groups of people to use the Cycle Hire scheme. We encouraged the students to look at design as a collaborative process, with the focus firmly on our customers, and how we can deliver the best possible experience for them.

This meant plenty of research, rethinking and refinement throughout the process. By the end of the week the students – who come from a range of design backgrounds – had brainstormed, tested and prototyped some fascinating ideas around curated rides and group tours.

Students from a range of design backgrounds brainstormed, tested and prototyped some fascinating ideas around curated rides and group tours

Students from a range of design backgrounds brainstormed, tested and prototyped some fascinating ideas around curated rides and group tours

Presenting ideas

The teams then presented their ideas to the public, Cycle Hire stakeholders and senior members of the TfL Online team. All were very well received, with Ben Gammon, TfL Experience Studio manager, commenting that “The quality of the students’ final ideas will help us to think differently about future solutions.”

Introduction to UX processes

Justin, studying Urban Planning, Design and Management at UCL, said “I’m a regular user of the Cycle Hire service, so I felt excited to work on this project.”

“It’s my first glimpse into UX design, and my first time using the design stages that TfL uses of Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver. This week has given me the mindset that I can use these in Urban Design too.”

Introduction to UX processes

The 5-day design sprint gave students a valuable introduction to UX processes, and they produced some very impressive work

Iterative design

Ellie, studying Product Design at the University of Leeds, said “The kind of design we’ve been doing here is really iterative, so you get a quick design, go out and test it, come back, improve.

“Going out to the public and testing has been rewarding, and seeing something you’ve been working on taking shape and come to life has been good.”

Informing career plans

“It’s been great working with people from different backgrounds and different stages of study. This week has been focussed on the real world, on research and data, so it’s different from what I’m used to. This week will definitely inform my thinking about my future career. I want to work in public service, go out and solve problems, work on ways to help people. This has been a good insight into that.”
Max, Graphic Design student at UAL

For more information on the Designology events at the London Transport Museum, see http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/events-calendar/designology-studio

Please keep an eye out on this blog for news on a range of future events, and if you were either one of the students taking part or someone who was at the London Transport Museum and saw any of the work going on during this 5-day sprint, please leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

Posted by Richard Furlong

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