Since returning back to Loughborough to complete her degree, Emma has won the Kinneir Dufort Placement Award and the Office for Disability Issues Award of £500 as part of the Royal Society of Arts Student Design Awards 2018⁄19 for the brief Hidden Figures with ‘Travel-ease’ - a system that enables independent use of public transport for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The brief was to design a way to break down the physical, organisational or attitudinal barriers that people with hidden disabilities or impairments can face in society, to enable them to live their lives to the full. Emma’s concept was refined through experience prototyping, an approach which included methods which allowed all of the stakeholders who would interact with the system to interact with an early prototype.
Each method was selected due to its suitability for achieving the most insightful feedback, taking into account appropriate use of methods for testing a prototype with those with an Autism-Spectrum Disorder. Methods included Interactive Click Modelling in context with a participant without an autism-spectrum disorder, a desktop walk-through with emotion scale cards with a user with an autism-spectrum disorder and their parents and Wizard of Oz testing of the wearable with parents.
Travel-ease provides consecutive short instructions in an accessible format to inform the user how to complete their journey. The route data will inform transport providers where trained staff are needed. A parent-worn wearable provides discrete feedback, reducing the timely nature of checking on their child and their anxieties. The system enables equal access to opportunities in society for everyone. Travel-ease is inclusive, it isn’t targeted solely at young adults with an ASD. Its simplicity in communication of journey information will make public transport more usable for all.
A big congratulations to Emma from the whole team at Orange Bus!
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