Inclusive Mapping Design Approach in Tallinn

"Good Design Enables, Bad Design Disables" forms the innovative approach to Tallinn’s new mapping service and making public transport accessible to all groups in society. 

Before hitting the drawing board, Tallinn’s transport department first started with its customers and potential customers! How effective is the information service design for everyone? Is it accessible for all groups of customers; tourists, elderly people, a mother with a child, wheelchair users, blind persons etc. Just over a year ago, a series of market research studies got underway starting with a group of graphic design students and disabled people taking test journeys from A to B across Tallinn. Travel experiences were mapped, defining the issues of accessibility, information noise and sign system. A number of workshops were then followed to gather and discuss the findings, e.g. colour system, disorganised signage etc. These test groups in turn consulted organisations representing different user groups and interested parties, e.g. Society of Blind in Estonia, Chamber of Disabled People, local public transport operators, different city departments, Tallinn Art Academy etc. As a result, a number of improved design solutions were put forward to the team of designers and public transport (PT) experts from Transport Department, currently working on PT stop redesign, restructuring the info panel at stops and legibility of schedules. All the solutions submitted aimed to improve accessibility, user-friendliness and the image of PT. Using an inclusive design process is key to bringing about the best solutions. The new mapping and service information for users is expected to be launched in Summer 2012

Author: Anu Leiner

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