A new transport management solution for serving the elderly
  • Systems thinking
  • Observation methods
  • UI design


September 2015 – January 2016

Working with

  • Østerbro Activity Centre
  • Handicap-Befordring A/S

Tools and methods

  • User shadowing
  • Sketch App
  • Invision
Final app design

Prototype of the proposed mobile app

How can a digital system best manage the backstage flow of information in order to provide elderly passengers with greater feelings of reassurance and confidence that a delay will have minimal impact on their service experience?

Researching the service experience among elderly members at an activity centre in Copenhagen, I discovered that there were increasingly frequent problems with the transportation service. Service delays were a cause of great worry for the elderly, particularly those with age-related psychological conditions. The project culminated with a solution that provided activity centre support workers with access to the real-time status of bus routes. In knowing this information, workers were then able to mitigate service delays by offering an appropriate welcome for members affected by such circumstances.

Shadowing an activity center worker

Shadowing an activity centre worker

Conducting a workshop with the elderly

Playing workshop games with the elderly

I set out to quantify how bus service delays affected the daily experience of members at the activity center. Through speaking with the elderly, the staff and the bus drivers, I was able to build multi-dimensional picture of the impact of a service delay.

In order to understand the effects of the bus service on the emotions of the elderly, I ran a participatory workshop to allow them to give the opinions on the current quality of the bus service. From this workshop I was able to determine how uncertainty of when the bus will arrive was one of the major causes for concern among the elderly, causing some to panic and feel as though they might have been forgotten that day.

Final app design

Digital app development

After having identified two ways in which delays could begin, I plotted a diagram to explain how, regardless of who was the first point of call, all service staff would be able to receive the same information immediately, instead of having to wait for the current internal processes to work out.

Exploded app diagram

Exploded diagram of app features

Out of the research for this project, the proposal was for a companion app to improve communication between activity center workers and bus drivers. This app was designed to use data from the bus service to provide workers with a quick understanding of the status of bus routes. Based on this understanding, activity workers would be able to adjust the schedule of the day's activities accordingly, and prepare an appropriate welcome members for members who arrive following a service delay. This solution was regarded as an efficient and low-cost approach for generating perceived value in the transportation service.

App concept at the activity centre.

Notification of service delay sent to worker

App concept on board the bus.

Route update sent to driver