Short description
We recently launched an online call for citizens to participate in the first TMaaS citizen research project that focuses on the mobility behaviour of people from the city of Ghent as well as visitors. Throughout April and the first half of May, researchers carried out a mobility diary study including mobility tracking and interviews.
The results of this research will be available soon. We sat down with Kevin Sanders*, TMaaS’ experience specialist to have a chat about the best method for carrying out research into citizen mobility behaviour and what he thought of the first end user study for TMaaS.
How did you carry out the study?
Kevin Sanders: “I designed a study where participants fill in a “mobility diary” - a set of cards on which you write down your travel plans and travel experiences after each journey. The participants carry the set of cards with them for two weeks, after which I interview each of them personally to ascertain their experiences. The cards are used as a reminder of their activities, serving as concrete examples for discussion during the interview. Whenever possible, we also use a mobility tracking app (Moves), which helps even more in mapping out user behaviour. The aim of this study is to find out which aspects of our platform relating to travel information are important to potential users.
Kevin Sanders who is fresh out of university, started his career in a research position at Meaningful Interactions Lab in Leuven.
Are people interested in taking part?
Yes! More than 200 people signed up to take part in the end user research project. Out of the list of applicants, I selected 19 people of various ages, locations, travel behaviours and abilities. Later in the project we will approach the citizens of Ghent again and more people will be able to participate and share their feedback with us.
In a preparatory phase, you asked your team members to help map out the user preferences?
That’s correct. I used my project partners for a trial run of my methodology. This provided some ideas that we were able to report back to the development team. We identified the fact that travellers like to have information about their route, even when there are no abnormalities or disruptions. We also discovered that some people find that having accurate information boosts confidence when they are heading up the motorway.
What are your goals for this project?
I’m trying to extend the scope of the project because I believe that this is the only way we can really gain new insights. If you limit your research too much, you can’t learn new things. My goal is to put the citizens and their needs in the spotlights of the developers according to the principles of user-centred design.
This study serves as a preparation for joint design workshops later in the project?
That’s correct. We will conduct joint creation sessions with citizens for TMaaS. The first sessions will start in September 2018.
Follow the TMaaS project through its different platforms:
The TMaaS blog on the website will include regular updates featuring the latest developments in the project and project-related activities elsewhere. Read the article by Pieter Morlion on how to bring MAAS to your city in 10 steps. TMaaS on the social networks shares news items from the Twitter feed and LinkedIn company page and sends information to influencers, Facebook pages and news platforms. A quarterly newsletter shares key updates with anyone interested in the project. 400 people currently subscribe to this list.

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