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

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.

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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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