washington hyperloop passenger experience
reimagining the travel experience through a new form of transportation
I joined the Washington Hyperloop Team back in 2019. As one of four designers I helped design a carbon fiber shell that would go over our team's engineered pod that is expected to compete in the annual Space X competition in Hawthorne, CA.
As a team we decided that it was not financially worthwhile to continue our endeavours to build a pod without the competition as our end goal. So, we moved forward and pivoted our research into what is now our Senior Capstone.
Visit our website for more info: www.hyperloop.io
2019 competition pod on display at the unveiling event
My team member and amazing friend, Lulu McRoberts, and I decided to make a concept video about what a Hyperloop passenger experience would be like.
Most Hyperloop concepts that exist today mainly focus on a highly futuristic aesthetic with no regard to easing people's anxieties about riding on a new technology, or its sustainable background. Additionally, many concepts focus on one aspect of the system rather than the whole passenger experience; we wanted to change that!
WE REACHED OUT TO TEAGUE WITH A CREATIVE BREIF AND SCHEDULE IN HOPES OF RECEIVING MENTORSHIP
Later on we received a call from the Associate Creative Director from Teague, Bernadette Berger, and she generously accepted our proposal and brought on an awesome UX Researcher, Chelsea Meyers, to the team. Their help propelled our project ten-fold.
ONE MONTH OF IN-DEPTH USER RESEARCH
BEFORE COVID-19 HIT WE WERE ABLE TO BEGIN OUR RESEARCH BY RIDING VARIOUS MODES OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AND INTERVIEWING PEOPLE
Because public transportation is a public utility intended to include every walk of like, it was important for us to cast a wide net of backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, and abilities for our user intercepts. I did the first batch in Seattle, while Lulu did her's in Bellingham.
But eventually, the United States succumbed to the pandemic, and we switched to in-depth user interviews from the surveys we designed.
Here's what people have to say about their transit experience
" The commute is a personal time for people, and I want to respect that."
" Imagine the smell and jolting in those overcrowded busses..."
"Carbon emissions matter to me, but sustainability is a low priority right now."
We analyzed our findings and organized them into a Miro Board
screenshot of miro board.. animate the call outs
Interactive Miro Board
untangled complexity into journey maps and matrixes
...and developed "How Might We's" through mad-lib insights
We still needed to identify a few of the most important values to Laura, and develop insights to solve them. This led us to our How Might We statements. Starting with grouping similar types of problems, we were able to find roots and develop functional statements that would help us solve bigger issues. This was the messiest, most difficult part of our research.
This is the guideline we used:
"User needs to
This synthesis determined our final design criteria
REDUCING CARBON FOOTPRINT
FEELING LIKE A WELCOMED GUEST
CLEAR AND PERSONALIZED COMMUNICATION
Laura needs to be surrounded by an infrastructure supporting sustainability because when there are no consequences or rewards for sustainability. It's hard to prioritize it.
Laura treasures feeling like a welcomed guest because it makes the ride feel more personalized and less like rented space.
Laura expects clear communication at each step of her journey because communication creates order from chaos.
Cleanliness can be felt by all 5 senses, and if the cabin is not clean, it can trigger the user into thinking the system is untrustworthy.
We selected our personas...
(Hover to interact)
Habitual Helena takes the same transit route every day. She is comfortable in her route, but doesn't know how much outside the system.
We chose Habitual Helena as our stakeholder because our selected Hyperloop route would be catered to business professionals commuting to work every day. We wanted a system that would be easy for someone on a time schedule to trust and enjoy using a daily basis.
Potential Paul is a newcomer to the transit system. He is largely unconfident in navigation, becomes easily lost, and is wary of his surroundings. His initial feelings about the system can make or break whether he rides again.
We wanted to make a system that would be easily accessible to a Potential Paul. Because Hyperloop is a new technology, everyone will be a Potential Paul in the beginning so it was important for us to design for a good first impression.
... and selected Seattle to San Francisco as our route ...
San Francisco County is one of the top 10 out -of - state counties in the entire country that sends the most people to Seattle. Friends and family would be to more easily see each other with thee Hyperloop.
BRIDGING TECH CITIES
San Francisco Bay area and Seattle are the two most prominent tech cities in the United States. Tech workers could have more flexibility with where they work - and what jobs they apply for.
Then we looked at a sustainable design criteria
CONNECTING TO OTHER TRANSPORT SYSTEMS
REDUCING SINGLE WASTE
REWARDING CARBON SAVINGS
We utilized our data prior to create the ideal journey for Laura
Using the personas, we developed a backstory for our main character, Laura, in order for us to empathize with her priorities, needs, and wants.
WORLD BUILDING + STORYTELLING
Finding the right vision to our world
Lulu and I researched on what the feel, style, and vision of our story would be like. We looked into a broad range of short films, commercials, and explanatory videos. We compiled them into a matrix categorizing them between realistic and explanatory.
We created moodboards for the different scenes
Then we created a blueprint for our storyboard
I planned and designed the station...
while Lulu designed the seating arrangement to optimize passengers and baggage area