Helping passengers with invisible impairments travel independently through train stations

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Digital Placemaking

Summary

Calvium is leading this Innovate UK funded project to develop a mobile wayfinding system to help people with less visible impairments to navigate railway stations independently and with confidence.

In partnership with Transport for London (TfL), Open Inclusion and Connected Places Catapult we shall deliver a digital wayfinding solution that has inclusion at its heart. By bringing together this team of specialists, Calvium has ensured that NavSta (Navigating Stations) has the greatest chance of becoming an integral part of the travelling public’s wayfinding toolkit.

It is widely accepted that less visible disabilities, such as autism, dementia or depression can be just as much of a barrier to travel as visible disabilities. It is also acknowledged that to meet the needs of people with mental impairments any digital solution should be designed and developed alongside them, in a genuinely inclusive way. Therefore, to ensure that all people have the same access to the railways and the opportunities that brings, we are working with users at all stages of this project.

NavSta will provide practical assistance to people when they plan a journey, undertake a journey and manage uncertainty during a journey. By providing the information that passengers need when they need it, NavSta aims to reduce the causes of anxiety when travelling through stations, or when thinking about travelling through them.

The project is a fantastic example of digital placemaking; demonstrating how the thoughtful application of digital technologies can improve people’s experience of a place. Indeed, the creation of this innovative wayfinding tool will not only benefit the customer but will provide a valuable demonstrator for other train stations seeking to remove barriers to travel, attract new passengers and achieve regulatory standards.

Screenshots of NavSta

Project Documentation

We documented and shared our progress at key points within the project, to inspire others and to receive helpful feedback:

  1. Project Announcement
  2. 5 key takewaways from TfL’s Access All Areas
  3. Good design is inclusive design: An interview with Tom Pokinko at Open Inclusion
  4. NavSta Research: The role of research in great digital placemaking
  5. NavSta: Accessibility
  6. NavSta: User testing
  7. NavSta: Mapping & wayfinding
  8. NavSta wayfinding app: an overview

Recognition

In March 2020, NavSta was highly commended by Celebrating Neurodiversity Awards 2020’s “Neurodiverse Research of the Year 2020” category, hosted by Genius Within CIC.

Our stellar project partners, Open Inclusion provided exemplary research input, putting inclusive research and design at the heart of the project. It was made all the better to hear that the judges were particularly impressed by the way that we translated the research findings into the design of the product.

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