Focusing Research

This morning Gareth introduced two exercises to help focus, analyse and criticise our project ideas so far: ‘6 Thinking Hats’ and ‘Family Tree’. The 6 Thinking Hats was a peer exercise to analyse and criticise each other’s projects from different perspectives using different roles under each colour hat. From this task I got some interesting questions which I hadn’t thought of that I must now consider and research into. The second task was the family tree, which was putting your product in the centre and branching off the parents as if they were the problems and children as if they were the consequences of the product. This task is to go into depth and try figure out the deep problem and see if it is possible to change it so that the consequences don’t occur anymore.

six-thinking-hats-class-display 20140315_163957


Brief Criticism

After our presentations we formed into small groups to review each others briefs that we had just proposed in the presentations. The aim of this was to write the best brief possible that meets the standards.

I now re-wrote mine to say:

“To re-design/improve the existing train carriage/set for commuters to make it a more efficient service. This must still comply with all British standards for train travel but change the way facilities are currently provided. The solution must give them a better sense of value for money along with relaxation and comfort when travelling.”

Pecha Kucha Presentations

This morning we presented our research from the last couple of weeks in a Pecha Kucha format. I had never done this type of presentation before so found it rather challenging to keep to the rules, but can see how effective it can be when the strict times are kept to. From the presentation  I received good praise and feedback for my efforts, also constructive criticism to improve my brief by focusing the project more specifically on a single problem rather than several.


Train Travel Research Presentation

Public Transport Seating

I put together a mood board of existing seating that are already present in public transport throughout the world and prototype ideas for the future. I have done this to see which methods already work well but find faults in them so that I can improve on them through designing new and better concepts.

Different Travel Mood Board

Current Seating Plans

I looked into the different train models and companies seating plans to see what kind of facilities and layouts are already in place as part of my research. Also to possibly give some inspiration into new concepts and adaptations of what is already out there.

First Great Western HST LD.jpg First Great Western HST HD

Cross Country - Voyager Cross Country - Turbostar Cross Country - High Speed Trains

Virgin Trains – Super Voyager     Virgin Trains – Pendolino

East Coast – Mallard     East Coast – HST

Starting Primary Research

After my secondary research confirmed my early suspicions, which I had discovered through my ethnographic research, I thought it would now be appropriate to conduct primary research. I started off by writing up a basic questionnaire (seen in the link below) to hear travellers opinions on the matters I have already found out and their opinions on how it could operate better. I planned on asking members of the public whilst they were on the platform, this way they might see it not as a hindrance to them but a way to pass time before their train arrived. But when asking station staff I was not allowed to conduct questionnaires within the station unless I had permission from Arriva Trains Wales, which I am waiting to hear back from. However I still managed to ask a few family members and students within Cardiff Met who’s answers were similar to what I have already found in my other research.

Initial Questionnaire


Starting Secondary Research

From my ethnographic research I found problems with congestion and mass amounts of people trying to fit into a small place all at once whilst trying to get organised. As well as this personally I find myself stressed when travelling with luggage because of all the people its hard to get comfortable, also on long journeys I find myself uncomfortable and often bored. So I looked online to see if I could find any articles to support any of my theories on train travel and came back with rather a quite a number:


Autumn 2011 Overcrowding


Autumn 2012 Overcrowding Nation Rail Travel Survey – Pages 6,14,15,19,21,22


National Rail Passenger Survey

National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) – Autumn 2013 Main Report – 21 January 2014

National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) at a glance – Great Britain wide – Autumn 2013