TASK 4 – Interactions of transactions

11 02 2008

Last week I was only able to participate in the week task in the three first days.. The reason for this were that I was involved in making a giant instillation in ice and snow in addition to the planning of next years Norwegian Championships in this unique material. The event were located up in the north of Norway, more exact, Målselv Fjellandsby in the district of Troms. More info on this project will be posted soon..  

Although I was away Thursday and Friday, I was able to participate in the task with my group to a satisfying extent and felt that we generated good ideas to answer our task to re design the ticketing system for Oslo Sporveier, NSB and SL trafikk.

The challange

Our main challange with this task was to look at the existing situation for ticketing and transactions in Oslo and nearby areas. What are the diffeculties using the system, what is good about it, and what should and could be done differently? 

userscenario.jpg

We saw it as our main task to choose parts of the system and propose adjustments in interface design, sale and use of tickets in an easy, understandable and reliable way. The main focus was set on understanding the problems former and existing systems had and then go out on a little field trip to observe the system in use, take pictures and analyse the users. It soon became clear that the existing system was way to complicated, it involved the use of many different tickets, and problems for users to have a good control on their purchase, in addition that the tickets handed out on the different public transports were small and easy to loose. We also thought it could be an idea for travellers with travel cards to be able to carry their tickets in a better and safer way through the use of RFID technology. There was also clearly good use of a new and improved system for paying and registering on the different public transports. As we knew that NSB and Sporveiene had been working on such a improvement for some years, we investigated this system and tried to suggest adjustments on this to make it work, now on the 4th year of not being put in use due to difficulties in incorporating it.

The status on Wednesday, when I had to leave the group to travel up north, was that we had been on a little field study, sheared the tasks between us and set up a scenario for the new system. We had also agreed on building our concept on top of the existing Flexus system from NSB, SL – traffic and Oslo Sporveier to connect it more to reality. However we had to change this on Thursday due to a possible conflict with the Flexus owners. This was a bit too late for my contribution as I had already made some visualisations using the Flexus brand in some of the scenario presentations (picture below). Due to this a lot of our material had to be re designed, not only the system, making it a bit hard for the two remaining group members. But off course, they are professional enough and made a new presentation involving the changes that had to be made.. Good work!

flexus.jpg 

As this is our last introduction workshop I want to use the occasion to thank Timo, Mosse and Einar for very educating four weeks. I look forward to this weeks introduction to physical engineering. Picture below is an visualisation on how we pictured how a monthly travelcard could be used in the shape of a silicone wristband, making it easier for the users to enter trams, trains and buses without having to pick out their cardholder and register all the time.

in-use.jpg

Conclusion

Through field studies and user observations we found out that the main problems with the existing systems for public transportation in Oslo are connected to the validation of travels, number of ticket systems and diffeculties in using ticketing machines. The good part about the system is that NSB, Oslo Sporveier and SL traffic now have joined up in one

single unit, RUTER, making it possible for travellers to use their tickets on a wider range of public transporters, save money and time.

     The main challenge now is to make the transition from beeing three operators into one as smooth, easy and understandable as possible. We see the incorporation of new interfaces on ticketing machines, better ticket sulutions for every day travellers and a better overveiew of travel expences as beeing the main areas for improvement. This should be done by massive user testing, introduction of RFID travel chips and online travel accounts, making public transport not only an alternative to privat transport, but the best sulution for anyone making their way from A to B.

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