A guide to designing a mobility platform. Part 1: Travel planning
When designing a mobility dashboard, you’ll to want to design something user-friendly and attractive, but above all you will want to create a tool that is really useful for the target group for your product. As part of the TMaaS project, we have studied the needs and wishes of end users in order to gain an understanding of the functions to be included in the mobility dashboard. Our researchers have broken down their findings into four different themes. We share a number of tips that are essential when designing a mobility dashboard. We start by sharing tips on ‘Travel Planning’.
In order to suggest more interesting modes of transport or different alternatives for a certain journey, you can incorporate mode attributes and attitudes towards them in the user preferences. Users should be able to indicate the relative importance they attach to each of the attributes that can then be measured objectively (journey time, price, sustainability, accessibility) so the system can prioritise the suggestions based on these attitudes. The advantages of certain modes could be highlighted in order to increase the positive reception of suggested alternatives. You could show the advantages of certain options for instance based on these attributes, e.g. emphasize the sustainability of the sustainable options or highlight the price advantage of a certain option or the time factor. Furthermore, you could provide information about accessibility of the different modes and locations (parking lots etc.) in your city.
Convenience and safety
In terms of convenience and safety, you could highlight the safety aspect of the mobility system for people on the move limiting or avoiding interactions required while driving or cycling. Bicycle-friendliness is also worth taking into account as well as the different terrains (surface type, gradient), bike lanes (availability and position – on-street or separate) and the speed and amount of passing traffic.
The system should also help users to find parking places, point out obstacles on the route and enable them to plan their activities.
Users should be able to make choices based on price, distance and journey time. The dashboard should also help users with public transport connections by providing them with information about real-time pass through times and transfer hubs for instance. You should help them to adopt different planning strategies, such as leaving home at the latest possible moment or getting as close to their destination as quickly as possible. Include an option to avoid hold-ups such as traffic incidents and heavy traffic. And last but not least, the system should also help people who are non-residents or who are not regular visitors to your city as they are likely to look up information before they start their journey.
Want to read more? Next week we will publish the 2nd part of our guidelines! Stay tuned!
Credits picture in heading: Stad Gent