It’s great to see that there are now over 600 apps using TfL’s datasets to develop customer facing products, and these products have a huge role to play in helping people to move around the capital. The Digital Partnerships team at TfL continues to engage with developers through this blog, the recently launched Tech Forum, as well supporting the introduction of new data with recent examples including Cycle Superhighways, Cycle Quietways and busiest times at stations. We are also looking at ways to improve our data based on your feedback.
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.
Enjoy an evening of circuit training for the brain at London Transport Museum’s first ever Late Debate, which takes place on the evening of Thursday 28 July. Guests will be able to join a choice of interactive debates and workshops, as well as enjoy a bar, music and the Museum’s new Designology exhibition.
It was an absolute pleasure to be hosting in the Digital Zone of the Transported by Design festival yesterday (Sunday 3 July), which saw Regent Street transformed into a vehicle-free street for the day, as cars, buses and taxis were replaced by stalls, marquees and even a Tube train carriage!
TfL’s Experience Design team is inviting 6 enthusiastic design students to take part in a 5-day design sprint in collaboration with the TfL Cycle Hire team. The goal is to offer hands-on experience of the mindset and tools of the human-centred design that the TfL Experience Design team use in their everyday work.
The 7th Over the Air took place on the 25th & 26th of September, 2015 at St. John’s in Hoxton, London and Transport for London were delighted to provide two speakers at the event on Friday 25th.
Over the Air is an annual 2-day event where the mobile developer community come together for ‘Hack Days,’ aimed at driving learning, collaboration and experimentation amongst developers, with software development recognised as a creative discipline. You can read more about the history, ethos and structure of the event on the Over the Air website and follow them on Twitter.
Rikesh Shah, Lead Digital Relationship Manager and Gordon Watson, Chief Technical Architect at Transport for London, were there to provide an overview of Open Data at TfL and to outline our commitment to the provision of free, open data which enables app developers to produce a huge range of travel products.
We’re delighted to share this post from guest blogger Paula White, who is a Software Architect with IBM. Paula lives in London and has a special interest in cities. Here, Paula shares her experience of ‘Innovation in the City,’ the first in a series of future-planning events which took place last week – you can find details of the next event towards the end of this post.
Last week I attended an Innovation in the City event with Urban Design London. I had been really looking forward to the event and my team and I arrived with the supplies for the workshop to define challenges for housing, transport, planning and streets. The event was attended mostly by local authorities, housing associations, charities and TfL employees.
We heard initially from Steve Haskey, IBM’s Design Studio lead about IBM Design Thinking. The key idea with Design Thinking is to think about people rather than things, and to consider peoples’ needs. It requires empathy. Design thinking can be used in the design of anything, and part of the approach is to put aside constraints and assumptions.
This helps in creating something that is not only functional, but also makes a significant difference to the person using it. Even more vitally it can create real step changes in innovation. Tim Brown, an authority on design thinking, gives the example of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who with his vision of the train gliding through the landscape, being part of an integrated transport system and of real service to society, was a design thinker. Watch Tim Brown’s Ted talk on design thinking here.
In London, as most people will be aware, we are growing at unprecedented rates, with a population of 10 million estimated for 2030. The workshop was to be centred around questions of how our infrastructure will cope, and are there different ways to think about how we will adapt?
This blog looks at TfL’s widgets and Open Data for developers, including our recent improvements. Get your website looking great with our redesigned Journey Planner widget!
What is a widget ?
A “widget” is a stand-alone application that can be embedded into third party sites by any user on a page where they have rights of authorship. Widgets can be considered as a downloadable small application which look and act like traditional apps, but are implemented using web technologies and our API.
What’s new ?
In October 2014, we re-designed our journey planner widget and banner to give them the same look and feel as our new website. The new widget also has email authentication built in so that we can get in touch with you quicker in future if we intend to change the widgets.
Thanks for popping by, I’m Tariq Khurshid and lead on the website (www.tfl.gov.uk), Service Desk, Change & Release Management. In this blog I’d like to share with you the success we have enjoyed using the “blue/green” approach for software release and deployment in the new website.
This is a summary of our experience doing blue/green software deployments and releases to tfl.gov.uk using Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure.
Blue/green deployment of software to the website is a process that we use to safely release new versions of (www.tfl.gov.uk) without any down time or outages for customers.
The key to success is to maintain two identical production environments to switch between. As (www.tfl.gov.uk) is now hosted on virtual servers in the cloud, this is relatively easy and cost effective.
Blue/green deployment allows us to develop software to a high standard, test independently of the live site and easily package and then deploy to live. This means we have the ability to rapidly, reliably and repeatedly push out enhancements and bug fixes to (www.tfl.gov.uk) at low risk, with minimal overheads, and best of all,….. no outages for customers.
Following on from last year’s double win at the User Experience UK Awards, our new website has enjoyed more success after picking up the award for best Mobile Solution or Application at the inaugural International Design for Experience Awards.
UX Magazine, sponsors of the awards, had this to say about our new mobile-friendly site scooping the prize:
“Working in collaboration with TfL’s online marketing team and build partner Detica, we are experience set out to create a responsive site that would work on any device and provide a consistent experience—bringing together big data, live updates, and location-based services for the world’s most complex public transport network.
A clearly outlined design process that would be very easy to use as aresource for teaching, a solid roll-out strategy, a good system for collecting and synthesizing customer feedback, and analytics to support their story all made an impression on the judges.”
See all the DfE award winners here.