In Fall 2016, the long-awaited Baltimore Bike Share (BBS) program rolled out to the city. The Baltimore City Department of Transportation challenged us to conduct design research during its first two weeks to understand the response of early adopters, curious inquisitors, dissenters, and the uninformed public. Through the design research process, we understood their varied needs, motivations, influences, and perceptions of the BBS message.
Throughout the process, we engaged in observational research, conducted interviews, administered surveys, and spent two weeks riding the bikes ourselves. We synthesized the findings into a final presentation back to the Baltimore Bike Share for them to refine and prototype before expansion in Spring 2017.
The images to the right are excerpts from the presentation. A full version can be found here.
Takeaway: Design research is a delicate balance between listening and “walking a mile in others’ shoes.” Real projects involve very many “others,” all walking their miles in diverging directions. A successful design solution requires a mindful and respectful synthesis of these factors, and a transparent explanation for the decisions made.
Project completed within the graduate program in Social Design at MICA.
Project Team: Matt Barr, Denise Brown, Jaynie Chartrand, María Isabel García-Díaz, Smile Indias, Devika Menon, Naeeme Mohammadi, Patricia Natalie, Molly Reddy, Rachel Serra, Mimi Yang, Irina Wong.
Faculty Advisors: Lee Davis, Thomas Gardner, Mike Weikert, Mike Youngblood.