Today, we live in a world where mobility is a part of the everyday life. At the same time, there is a global need for cities to be smart and sustainable. People spend increasing amounts of time traveling, and thus the development of public transportation services is central for advancing these goals. Transportation services include associated digital services – such as navigation and scheduling services, and various infotainment services. In order to make public transportation services desirable for wide audience, all aspects of the services need to be designed with a focus on the passengers’ and their needs and experiences. While there is a considerable amount of research conducted in the public transportation field, there is a lack of qualitative studies that contribute to the understanding of the travel experience of intra-city bus transportation from the User Experience (UX) point of view. This thesis contributes to the field of human-computer interaction (HCI), with a more specific focus on User Experience (UX) and Human-Centered Design (HCD). In addition, the practical aspects of this research contribute to the field of service design. This thesis also provides a theoretical contribution to the travel experience and transportation field, viewing the topic from human-centered design perspective. This research was conducted over the period of three years between 2016-2019, as a part of the research project Living Lab Bus (LLB). LLB collaboration project with industrial partners. The research on user experience perspective of bus passengers resulted in five publications which form the basis of this compound thesis. This dissertation presents a series of qualitative studies conducted with Research for design approach to gain understanding of intra-city bus passengers’ travel experience. These studies involved a total of 68 bus passengers representing different age groups and backgrounds from two city regions in Finland: Tampere and Helsinki. The preliminary interview study involved 10 international students, a total of 24 international students participated in the idea generation workshops, and representatives of three different user groups: high school students, parents of young children, and pensioners took part to in-depth ideation workshops. A total of 20 people of different ages and backgrounds participated in the bus travel experience study. This study utilised the diary method to collect contextual data of bus passengers’ experience over a three-week period. The goal of this research is two-fold: first, to gain insights of bus passengers’ needs and expectations for intra-city bus related services and to create holistic understanding of the intra-city bus travel experience. This forms the theoretical contribution of the thesis. The second aim of the thesis work was to transform these insights into practical and visual format. This part of the research resulted in a set of design tools, enabling the findings of this research to be utilized by different stakeholders when developing and designing services for the public transportation context. This practical contribution is presented in the form of Travel Experience Toolkit (T-rEX), including four design tools that support the service development in different stages of the design process: 1. Bus Travel Experience Model for understanding the context, 2. Context Cards for diversifying ideation, 3. Passenger Journey Map for exploring service touchpoints, and 4. Experience Personas for getting to know the passengers. These tools bring Human-Centered Design knowhow to different stakeholders working in the transportation context, with the aim to enable the design and development of services that fulfill the needs and expectations of bus passengers. As a final study, we conducted a multi-stakeholder evaluation of T-rEX toolkit with four public transportation stakeholders, to gain understanding of how the toolkit serves different stakeholders in their public transportation service development. The theoretical and practical contributions advance the research and design of future digital services for passengers and can help make public transportation more attractive.
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