The Safe Routes To School Partnership via San Francisco Department of the Environment hired WSC partner Amber Bieg and her team to develop ‘toolkits’ that would encourage parents to shift their school transportation from single-family vehicle trips to sustainable transportation options. The group had not yet clearly defined what ‘toolkits’ would mean – ideas ranged from brochures to a website.
Because the team was designing for human behavior change, Amber and her team used a highly regarded design methodology called Human Centered Design (HCD). The team designed a car/bike/walk-pooling app to encourage parents to switch from single family car trips to a more sustainable mode of transportation. The app was designed to make parents lives easier by helping parents coordinate with each other to get their kids to school, and helping identify safe (and fun) routes to school for biking, walking, and taking the bus. The HCD process aims to understand human needs, dreams, and behaviors. Through this process, the team turned qualitative data into actionable ideas. The research team did in-depth market research through surveys, interviews and shadowing. This was then brought into multiple design thinking workshops for the application design sketches and functional requirements definitions. Eventually arriving at wireframes and testing prototypes.