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Observations

Design Matters at the Bus Stop

Customer experience is being increasingly considered by transport operators. There are many elements that need to come together for a journey to be an excellent experience. Here’s my own observation of where a design decision is having unintended negative impacts on bus travel.

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Observations

Three taxis in one week

I am not usually a big user of taxis, but because of this week’s work commitments I’ve needed to travel early in the morning and late at night on a few occasions so I’ve opted to use taxis. However, these weren’t just any taxis, they were Gett taxis. I decided to document my experience of using Gett.

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Observations

Nesta Article on Innovation in Transport

Nice little article on the Nesta Blog about the key trends which are beginning to transform the transportation sector.

The integration of new technology and the concepts of ‘mobility’ will push innovation in the sector

It’s an exciting time to be working in this sector are trying to work out how we can get the greatest benefits out of this period of change.

Categories
Observations

When do people say ‘Hello’

I was recently out for a walk on a lovely beach not far from Edinburgh. There were plenty of people out walking their dogs or playing with their kids. Not a single person said ‘hello’ to anyone else, even as they were passing.

At the end of the beach, the sand ended and a path lead us away from the shore. The narrow path cut through some bushes and across grassy land. Suddenly everyone started to say ‘hello’ to one another.

It was really noticeable to me. I guess it was something about the increased level of proximity. On the path the space was shared and people had to acknowledge one another.

It started off on interesting conversation between my mom and me about how public space is changing because so many people aren’t really ‘present’ in public space when they are off in their own virtual worlds (aided by smartphones). However, I’ll leave that for another post!

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Observations

Choosing how to pay

Prior to becoming self-employed I worked for a company who kindly included a bus pass (Edinburgh’s Ridacard) as one of our employment benefits. I certainly appreciated it at the time, but only realised quite how great a benefit it was once I had to give it up. Becoming self-employed meant I would be working from home for the vast majority of the time, and would only need to travel to the occasional meeting. There was no sense in having a monthly pass, but I quickly missed it.

After the bus pass, there were two main options available to me:

  1. Good old cash – pop £1.50 into the farebox and away you go, or
  2. Download the mobile ticketing app, where you purchase at least £10 worth of tickets which you then redeem as you need them by activating it in the app and showing your smart phone’s screen to the driver.

I began to notice what these options meant for my experience.

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Researched by Others

Understanding the Role of Values

This week I attended a fantastic summit organised by the 2050 Scottish Youth Climate Group. One of the workshops I attended was focused on behaviour change models. During the workshop we only had time to concentrate on one of the models – DEFRA’s 4Es. However, I have since done a little reading around some of the other models mentioned by the presenter. One in particular has really caught my attention. It is the Common Cause model which you can read more about at: http://valuesandframes.org/handbook/1-why-values-matter/ 

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Researched by Others

Does Gamification Work?

I’ve just read a great article by Brian Cugelman from AlterSpark on the ingredients of Gamification and its role in promoting health behaviours. I’ve heard a lot of hype about the potential for gamification, which it is easy to get swept up in. This article helps to break down what gamification really is and when it should be used.

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Observations

Being ‘green’

There have been a few green-related happenings this week that have prompted me to write this post. Firstly, the five pence charge for plastic bags has begun in Scotland. Secondly, on a more personal note, we’ve taken delivery of our new smaller wheelie bin and instructions for the updated recycling programme here in Edinburgh.

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Researched by Others

StickK

As I mentioned in my last post, one core issue in getting people to maintain healthy behaviours arises from the fact that our biases mean it can be difficult for us to commit to undertake the activities we plan to do. With this in mind, I went to find out more about StickK. Its a great website, created by Yale Uni economists and built on real economics. The concept is that you log in to the website and enter your personal goal or ‘commitment contract’. You can then ‘set the stakes’ whereby you nominate someone to receive a financial amount (i.e. your cash) if you don’t meet your goal.

According to the site, they’ve had 265,200 commitments created and $19,037,674 put on the line. I think it would work for me. What about you?

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Researched by Others

Health Behaviours

I had the opportunity to attend a great lecture last night as part of Edinburgh University’s ‘Our Changing World’ lecture series. It was right up my street, looking at Health Economics and Health Behaviours. The presenter, Prof. Michele Belot, did a great job at explaining why we find it difficult to adopt behaviours which are good for us – particularly health behaviours such as taking exercise, eating well and limiting alcohol intake. We learnt why we might want to do these things, but then find it difficult to stick to our plans.