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Inclusive design for mobility: considering the needs of older users


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Presentation from the Intelligent Mobility Conference, Nottingham. January 2018

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Inclusive design for mobility: considering the needs of older users

  1. 1. 24 January 2018 Prepared for Midlands Intelligent Mobility Conference Inclusive design for mobility. Considering the needs of older users
  2. 2. 1. Intelligent mobility 2. Some macro trends around older users 3. A survey we conducted of older travellers in the UK 1. Transport modes used 2. Current challenges faced 4. Solve for older users, fix for disability - does this work? 5. Designing mobility solutions with universal benefits Contents
  3. 3. open inclusion @openforaccess We provide: • User insights from disabled & older people • Authentic and expert audits • Innovation and universal design thinking • Inclusion solutions, tools and training • Governance support and value analysis Open Inclusion An accessibility and innovation consultancy
  4. 4. We identify and remove hurdles between customer and product or service providers so that both can achieve to the fullest of their ambitions. Open’s essence
  5. 5. We have a user panel of +350 people who - Have sensory impairments - Have mobility/dexterity impairments - Are cognitively diverse - Have complex (mixed) conditions - Are over 65 years old We do mainly qualitative user research, both behavioral and attitudinal. In physical, digital and hybrid environments. Guidelines are not sufficient guides Ask your users. Gain real insights Authentic insight
  6. 6. Intelligent mobility?
  7. 7. Intelligent mobility?
  8. 8. Intelligent mobility
  9. 9. Intelligent mobility “Intelligent” because it does more for the users, more easily or efficiently than it does now due to technology enabled solutions supported by real-time information. “Mobility” includes all modes or urban public and private transport and mobility solutions. Anything motorized, or not, that helps people get from A to B. From walking or a bike to powered scooter, cars, buses, ferries and trains.
  10. 10. 4 macro trends that make designing for older users very relevant 1. Ageing population Increasing proportion of older people (+65) particularly the proportion and number of older old (+85). By 2040 1 in 4 people across the UK will be +65. 2. Geographic redistribution This population of older people is not evenly distributed across the UK. They are more likely to live in rural and semi rural areas and increasingly so 3. Additional needs As we age we acquire more impairments including mobility, dexterity, sensory (hearing and vision) and cognitive function. 4. Technology enablement Technology is making it easier to solve for varying users needs and preferences. Inclusion is getting cheaper, easier to use and mainstreamed
  11. 11. We are getting older Our bodies are changing, not necessarily our attitudes!
  12. 12. % of the UK population over 65 years old % of the UK population over 85 years old Source: ONS 2017 1/ We are getting older as a society
  13. 13. 2/ Older people are increasingly choosing to live in rural areas
  14. 14. Source: FRS 2015/16 Percentage of each age category who have at least one impairment that would be classed as a disability (EA) By gender and age 3/ As we age we incur impairments at an increasing rate
  15. 15. 4/ Technology is making adaptive solutions more pervasive, cheaper and easier
  16. 16. We ran an online survey from our panel Survey conducted: January 2018 Participants: n = 16 Ages: 66 to 92 Based across the UK Rural/village, town and urban If in doubt - ask How do older people travel? What do they want?
  17. 17. Stated impairments 56% mobility 25% vision 25% hearing 25% dexterity 6% speech 6% memory What specific inclusion needs were most relevant?
  18. 18. Modes of transport 75% Driven by friends/family 63% Caught a local train 63% Walk (<1 mile) 56% Urban bus 56% Regional train 56% Taxi 50% Drive own car 44% Regional / national bus 44% Underground 25% Walk (>1 mile) How do older people travel? What modes do they use?
  19. 19. People age very differently - confidence, social interactions, attitudes and ability to see, hear, think, react etc. Older people are not a single demographic group
  20. 20. Participant 2 Most frequent to least 1. am driven by family 2. regional train 3. public urban bus 4. local train 5. regional bus 6. private hire vehicle 7. taxi Participant 1 Most frequent to least 1. walk (< 1 mile) 2. cycle 3. walk (>1 mile) 4. public bus 5. local train 6. regional train 7. London underground 8. aeroplane When arranging transport modes by regularity There were major usage differences across the surveyed group
  21. 21. Public transport - current barriers Category Cannot walk to public transport Mobility Putting mobility scooter on public transport. Mobility Lack of buses locally and non lowered curbs. Mobility The train station is 1.5 miles away and Victorian, so I cannot get across to the other platform. There is no lift. Mobility High step or gap to get on train or coach Mobility Railway stations that have stairs and no lift. Mobility Pushchairs who cannot or will not fold for me to access the wheelchair bay Mobility Buses are overcrowded. Standing involves risk of falling Mobility Holding on when moving Mobility Standing for longer than 10 mins Mobility
  22. 22. Public transport - current barriers Category Limited car parking Multiple Taxis refusing assistance dogs Multiple It is increasingly difficult to press the correct buttons to purchase a ticket from a machine due to my hand tremor. I prefer to buy tickets from station staff, if available Dexterity Announcements in audible form Hearing Read bus numbers from a distance Vision Identification of the bus route numbers Vision Finding the right bus or train at a stop or station Vision/ Cognitive Access barriers older travellers face Public transport - sensory, dexterity, cognitive
  23. 23. Private transport - current barriers Category Getting walker/scooter out of car because of weight. Mobility My left leg does not bend much, so any car has to have wide opening doors and needs to be high, for me to get in and out. Mobility Some cars are too high or low to get into or out of, need to open door fully to get in and out. Some parking spaces are too narrow. Mobility Accessible parking and space at the side of car to get out. Some accessible spaces do not have the hash markings on both sides. Also some on road parking not having enough room to open tailgate to get scooter in and out. Mobility No disabled bay or all bays already filled. Mobility Cannot take static chair in car so only accept lift if close enough to walk Mobility
  24. 24. Private transport - current barriers Category When they [taxi company] calls me on my mobile Hearing Shutting the door and putting my seatbelt on Dexterity Access barriers older travellers face Private - hearing and dexterity
  25. 25. Walking or cycling - current barriers Category Increasing immobility as hip and knee joints stiffen and become painful when walking. Mobility Pain, unable to walk more than a few metres, I use a rollator around the house as I hate to think I might be stuck in the chair forever. Mobility/ Pain Pain, and stiffness of my joints walking especially on uneven ground, gravel etc. Mobility/ Pain Uneven pavements Mobility Shared space, overgrown hedges, general clutter such as street furniture Mobility Obstacles such as cars on pavements, wheely bins etc Mobility Access barriers older travellers face Walking and cycling - mobility
  26. 26. Access to friends/family, shops, work (paid and voluntary), healthcare providers, entertainment and other daily living needs that provides: • Independence • Safety • Communication and physical design adapted to their needs • Time efficiency (duration, regularity and reliability) • Cost efficiency Not too many new things to learn. Simplicity or consistency. Although “discovering” new challenges and technologies can be a pleasure too. What older users want
  27. 27. Awareness and adoption of autonomous transport
  28. 28. We spend a lot of time designing the bridge, but not enough time thinking about the people who are crossing it” Dr. Prabhjot Singh Director of Systems Design Earth Institute “ These challenges provide the seeds for innovation and great inclusive design
  29. 29. Solving for older travellers' needs requires good inclusive design that will also support the needs of younger people with a disability or temporary access needs Older people have a higher propensity to incur impairments and co-morbidities • mobility / dexterity • hearing • sight • memory • other cognitive decline Good solutions for older transport users, may by default solve access needs for disabled passengers
  30. 30. Older people with access needs • May identify as “just getting older” • May adapt slowly working around the access need rather than directly addressing it • May use adaptive technology and simple universal design “hacks” Younger people with access needs • May identify as disabled or d/Deaf, wheelchair user or blind etc. • Are more likely to directly address the access need. e.g. get a hearing aid, learn braille, BSL, use advanced assistive technology • May become part of a community of people with similar access needs A few main difference exist between older and younger people with access needs – as a generalisation
  31. 31. Greater digital adoption and skills Have higher education levels Question and challenge more Are working later in life Greater economic resources Higher service expectations Travel more and more adventurously Have better overall health for longer Are living longer The “new” old
  32. 32. Good insight: user research, measures and analysis Effective government policy: leading to budget decisions, standards and legislation Good public infrastructure Simple, effective design principles So what is needed - the broader framework
  33. 33. • Design for ease of learning • Consider ease of use including access, egress and in motion • Consider full needs of end-to-end journey • Use real-time data such as seat availability and schedules to reduce uncertainty • Provide multi-modal communication options • Create / maintain urban spaces that are safe for people who have reduced mobility • Design solutions that cater for multiple co-existing impairments • Recognise emotional as well as functional needs So what does this mean for inclusive design principles for creators of smart mobility solutions?
  34. 34. “When we design for disability first, we often stumble upon solutions that are not only inclusive but also are often better than when we design for the Elise Roy US Attorney and inclusive design advocate “ Understanding and designing for the needs older and disabled users will catalyse more innovative solutions
  35. 35. Twitter: @openforaccess