Designing together

Over the last 5 months or so, the Making Connections project has been working through the following steps:

  • Bring people together to explore how we travel through connections and plan making a connection together

  • travel through connections from trains to ferries as a group, recording our experiences along the way

  • reflect on all the stories, comments and challenges from that shared experience

  • come back together and develop responses to some of the challenges - design together.

We reached the latest stage back in May when we brought participants from the Ardrossan and Aberdeen walk-throughs together with colleagues from transport operators, Transport Scotland, designers and others.

As a project team we had spent time considering the many challenges that participants had described during the walkthroughs - difficult environments, lack of information, noisy spaces, anxious road-crossings… and distilled them into themes and design challenges that we could tackle together.

It took a lot of discussion. We described the challenge areas we’d identified to each other and grouped them by when they might happen along the course of journey. Eventually, five key challenges emerged…

  1. How can we help decision makers understand the challenges that disabled people face?

  2. How can we give people more useful information before their journey?

  3. How can we make travel connections more visible, safer and easier to follow?

  4. How can we make help points more helpful for disabled people?

  5. If you could start again and design a transport network that works better for everyone, what would the connections look like?

These became the focus for our Design Event.

We invited all participants from Ardrossan and Aberdeen along with transport partners and other friends we’ve made along the way.

On the day, we described the project process and the challenges that we’d identified. Participants then chose a challenge that they wanted to work on and started to discuss possible solutions…

It was a great gathering with lots of energy and ideas. We’re currently in the middle of analysing what was create, discussed and proposed during the day.

We’ll be writing it all up and presenting ideas for taking on some of the challenges further.

In the meantime, we’ll be sharing some of this and reflecting on the process at our summary event in Edinburgh on 30th July - join us!