A new way to design buses: a methodological framework for the front end of design

The bus operation and manufacturing domains of the public transport field are traditionally dominated by quantitative methodologies. The methodologies are used to elicit quantifiable information about the public on a broad scale, helping to create services and vehicle designs. However, this approach often lacks when qualitative insights are needed, such as understanding in-depth user behaviour and experiences, which is necessary if true user-centred services and vehicles are to be designed. Secondly, there is currently a gap within the bus procurement process. Manufacturers and users have no direct contact, making the operators the centre of communication between the two groups. This can lead to less informed vehicle designs and it is suggested that operators need to develop a clearer way to understand and communicate qualitative customer insights to the manufacturers. This paper proposes a design ethnography (DE) methodology as a solution. Design methods allow user-centred research to be conducted with a focus on product and service redesigns, and even though underdeveloped within this area, they have shown to be successful in other fields. To test the suitability of this methodology, a study was conducted and will be presented. Firstly, DE methods of observations and cultural probes will show how operators can conduct DE fieldwork with a focus on producing design outcomes, and secondly a transitioning stage from data gathered into a product design specification (PDS) which the operators can communicate to the manufacturers to design from. Undertaking these studies found that conducting DE research, compared to other methods, can lead to more holistic, user based research to be discovered, eliciting information that can be designed for. This information could then be easily transferred into a PDS, allowing a way for qualitative data to be designed for and assessed, leading to a more user centric design process.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 8p
  • Monograph Title: 40th Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF), Darwin, October 30th - November 1st, 2018

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01696303
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 26 2019 2:39PM