Designing and testing accessibility services and platforms

Design-interventions in the form of Living Labs will be used in order to gain
knowledge on how users respond to accessibility and mobility services and policy
instruments. Combinations of services provided by a digital platform are tested in
different urban contexts. By having different user groups live with these daily
interventions during several months knowledge will be generated on how new service concepts could be designed in order to achieve a more resource efficient travel pattern. Furthermore, new knowledge will be created on how habits are established and to what extent they are disrupted over time.

Aims and research questions

The aim of this work package is to design attractive and sustainable ASIs (Accessibility Service Innovations) and combinations thereof, as well as an attractive MSDP (Multi-Sided Digital Platform) in order to simulate a mechanism that can influence the motives, incentives and decision making of groups and individuals that primarily drive climate change mitigation, but also contribute to other sustainabilitygoals. The services will be evaluated together with users, producers and other stakeholders in practice in living labs in order to reach pre-commercial prototypes.

Research questions addressed:

Relating to the driving forces of users:

  • How should accessibility services be designed in order to fit user needs and contribute to sustainability targets?
  • What are the key properties of disruptive ASIs?

Relating to MSDPs:

  • How can the users and producers of ASIs benefit from a MSDP?
  • How can MSDPs function as enablers of new sustainable combinations of ASIs to be accepted by users?
  • What kind of functionality is needed to implement a successful multisided digital platform for sustainable accessibility services? Examples of functionalities that needs to be considered; agreement between user, producer and platform owner, economic and other incentives, security, integrity, social platform, inclusiveness, payment, tickets, etc.
  • What kind of organization would be more likely to deliver a successful MSDP?
  • How shall the different actors roles be defined in an MSDP environment?
  • How can MSDPs use different mechanisms such as dynamic pricing to reflect scarcity in the transport system and distribute them in a sustainable and reliable way that lead to changed user behaviors?

Relating to dissemination and incentives/regulations:

  • What are the key aspects and properties of MSDPs to reach high customer and stakeholder penetration?
  • How can the tested services be scaled into a real environment?
  • How can new business models and instruments promote sustainable accessibility?
  • What is needed for ASIs that have a large sustainability potential to reach acceptance from users and stakeholders?

In this work package, work is focused on designing and testing of the physical services in a living lab approach.
Examples of combinations of services that could be studied are: remote-office in combination with home delivery of food/goods; or bus-commute in combination with self-service last-mile bicycle; or shared autonomous vehicle services for transit and freight.

Aspects of integration of multiple ASIs into preferably one digital platform to maximize potential and user and producer attractivity is also part of the scope, to study different kind of mechanism implemented in the MSDP such as incentives (economic, time, reliability, convenience etc.).


The work package will employ a service-design methodology to conceptualize, visualize and prototype different combinations of ASIs and ASIs integrated on the MSDP. The work will be performed in three loops for each living lab, as indicated in the figure and will end after loop 3, with tested prototypes.

Service design loop (used by Transformator Design AB): 1.insights->2.idéas- >3.trigger material->4.user interaction

The work package will use a combination of three widely practiced methods of service design,
which are used to explore and create a holistic view of the intangible user dimensions and service requirements affected by these dimensions. These methods (tools) are Customer Journey Map (sometimes referred as User Experience Map), Personas, and Stakeholders Map, which are described and defined below.

Interactive Design process is a method of working with product or service design in a
user-interactive, or co-creation oriented, process and is depicted in the figure above. It is based on iterative “looping” (at least three times) before being production-mature: insights->ideas->trigger material->user interaction->->insights, ideas……

The first loop is based on deep insights and first set of ideas (from work packages 3 and 4) and results in a rough prototype that can be presented to users, to get a first set of feedback. This first prototype can act as trigger material for discussions with users in order to gain deeper insights. The second loop aims at producing a more “tangible prototype” that the users can interact with or experience to generate feedback. The third loop is a functional Beta-version for field testing. The feedback of third loop serves as specifications for a first “production version” of a service. This project part will end after the third loop, with tested prototypes of ASIs.

Additional “tools” and methods that may be used to support the above main method comprises the following:

Customer Journey Map is a strategic method that allows capturing and making visible key insights of the interactions across experiences of the user with a product, service, or ecosystem ( Adaptive Path, 2013 ). The map provides a holistic overview of the factors influencing user behavior and experience, thus, allowing for understanding of users’ needs while emphasizing on problematic and opportunistic areas of the service
( Stickdorn & Schneider, 2010 ).

Personas are “a documented set of archetypal people who are involved with a product or service” ( Teixeira et al. 2013, p.363 ). Such method can provide information about the users who will use the service ( Teixeira et al. 2013 ).

Stakeholder map is “a visual or physical representation of the various groups involved with a particular service” ( Stickdorn & Schneider 2010, p.150 ). Such representation shows the system of actors and their mutual relations depending on where the focus is ( Service Design Tools 2015 ) –in this study the user. Stakeholder maps are a helpful way to understand and highlight the issues that concern each stakeholder group, and particularly users ( Stickdorn & Schneider 2010 ).

In addition this project will employ an iterative user-centric design process. Some of the work will be based on qualitative interviews, focus groups and literature reviews as method.

Research design

The work is focused on design and evaluation of the physical services themselves, Design methodology and research will be employed to create a co-creation process based on deeper insights in opportunities and user needs. Both individual ASIs (such as Uber-type services and the emerging autonomous vehicle services) and
combinations of such will be evaluated. It will also conceptualize and visualize a multisided digital platform (MSDP) that is able to deliver instant and reliable accessibility services for both producers and consumers of transport services. The focus in this work package is on the functionality that the platform provides to the different participating actors (users and producers of accessibility services) and on the role of the provider of the platform.

The work package organizes and conducts design-processes by using living lab methodology. Each living lab will include three “design-loops”:

  • Loop 1. Theoretical prototype – Knowledge and insights from Mistra SAMS is used when fine-tuning the design.
  • Loop 2. Tangible prototype - Establish Living lab pilots together with users in participating municipalities (City of Stockholm, and Botkyrka municipality) and producers of ASIs (Hertz/Sunfleet, Samtrafiken, Swedish Transport Administration, City of Stockholm).
  • Loop 3. Beta version and field testing of service concept in the established Living lab environments.

Before and after these loops, additional research work using other design research tools, for example contextual user interviews and stakeholder maps will be used to produce knowledge necessary to step the design loops forward.

The main outcome of the work package is prototype material of combinations of ASIs together with MSDPs and regulations and incentives to manage the infrastructure according to sustainability goals. Its also knowledge about what functionality is needed in the MSDP, what type of roles different actors would have, and which business models are resilient. The work package will establish prototypes of different mechanisms that can achieve non-forced compliance that can influence the motives, incentives and decision making of groups and individuals that drive climate change reductions. In addition, deep knowledge on user and stakeholder aspects of these services will be captured as research knowledge, disseminated and documented as publications and seminars/workshops.

The methodology has been used in several projects, aiming at finding attractive and promising implementations of novel services, by Mistra SAMS researchers (for example: KTH Mobility pool and Off-Peak city distribution at ITRL or “Bilfritt år” at Green Leap/CESC).

User value and users participating

The partners will be involved in setting up the process. Together with additional stakeholders and a set of user-groups will be part of the design research work by means of workshops, interviews and focus groups. The Swedish Transport Administration, City of Stockholm, City of Malmö, Botkyrka, Ericsson, Scania, Samtrafiken, K2 will also be involved in the work package at different stages. Both producers and end users are part of this work package to gather experience of how accessibility services can be integrated into a multisided platform.
In this work package key providers of ASIs and potential providers of the MSDP will participate as well as representatives from other parts of Mistra SAMS that have gathered end user knowledge.

International co-operation

Selected young researchers will participate in this work package to ensure state-of-the art methodology and international dissemination. Additional research collaboration partners of ITRL will also be engaged.

Relation to other work packages

Theoretical and scientific background on different dimensions and critical factors will be input from work package 2. An “ASI and MSDP inventory” will be input from work package 3. Insights will be input from work package 4 through continuous interaction where deeper insights on user needs, sustainability assessments and policy recommendations are generated. Insights on ASI and MSDP functionality and testing from living lab environments will provide input from work package 5 to work package 6 and 7.

Work package leaders

Belongs to: Mistra SAMS Sustainable Accessibility and Mobility Services
Last changed: Jul 17, 2019