Designing an iPhone app

As part of the part-time Masters I’m doing in Information Design, we had to design an iPhone app.

I’d already done a screenshot idea for a London Bus app after Countdown the live bus tracking system was launched, so I thought – hey, why not design a bus app? There’s loads out there just for tracking buses, so I thought, what’s the one thing we all like to do about public transport? Oh yes, complain!

So I made* an app that was all about complaining – but, y’know – quietly. Since the Great British Public doesn’t really like to make a fuss. Or talk. Or make eye contact.

*that is to say, designed, without actually programming it!

The map is actually a built-in, crowd-sourced warning tool – bus-stops where major problems are reported are flagged in red, minor problems in amber and clear in green.

Bus iPhone application

People can report full buses that whizz past, loooong queues and ohgodlateagain buses while they’re in the queue, or leave a comment about the indignity of it all. And once they get on the bus – reporting priorities change. Have they got a seat? Is the bus not going anywhere fast? Or maybe some kid in the next seat has forgotten their headphones again.

Ultimately there are several major logistical problems to iron out with this idea – how to tell WHICH bus just whizzed past, for instance. And for stops with multiple buses, the queue might only be a problem for one of them. But I think it would be an interesting idea to channel our great British reserve (aka seething inner rage) on public transport into something like this. And maybe with 6 months of crowd-sourced data, TFL could actually do something about the most troubled spots!

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Corinne Pritchard

Corinne Pritchard

Information Designer at Simply Understand
I believe design and designers can and should make the world a better place. I love designing things that help people understand complex ideas.
Corinne Pritchard

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One thought on “Designing an iPhone app

  1. I like this concept. I've often wondered about a sort of twitter for public transport. As in, I turn to Twitter when I want to know what's happening down the road, I could turn to this when my bus doesn't arrive to see that people a few stops ahead complaining about the argumentative passenger who's holding up the service. 

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