As is with most design projects, one of the first steps is creating a persona, with an issue, so that we can create a solution that has its suited to that particular user and their individual problem. One of the easiest ways to visually portray this is through a persona, which is a fictional user who portrays all the issues you wish to tackle in your design in addition to being perfectly suited to your target market, age range, location etc. After visiting Eindhoven for DDW late last year, and seeing the completely opposite attitude bikes that what we have here in the UK, I decided I wanted to research further into this bike-friendly, European market.
It was then I stumbled upon the Copenhagenize Index where Eindhoven was currently situated 5th in the ranking.
The Copenhagenize Index gives cities marks for their efforts towards reestablishing the bicycle as a feasible, accepted and practical form of transport. The interest in taking the bicycle seriously as transport once again continues unabated around the world. Every city used to be bicycle friendly before planners and engineers started to change the paradigm and plan for cars and relegate bicycle users, pedestrians and public transport users to third class citizens. Now those cities around the world who are taking up the challenge and modernising themselves by implementing bicycle infrastructure, policy, bike share systems, etc. - as well as restricting car use - are the cities we all look to for New Century inspiration.
- (Copenhagenize.eu, 2017)
With this in mind I chose three cities for my personas:
2013 Ranking: 2
The Lowdown: After finishing second in the last two Copenhagen Index rankings, Copenhagen edges out Amsterdam for first place. The Danish capital remains impressively consistent in its investment in cycling as transport and in making efforts to push it to the next level.
2013 Ranking: 8
The Lowdown: When we think of Eindhoven, we think of no-nonsense consistency. Cycling in the city is steady and strong. The Floating Roundabout captured our imagination, and we are looking forward to seeing what else the city can produce that is functional and iconic.
2013 Ranking: 16
The Lowdown: Berlin as a bicycle city is like Berlin as an everything else city. It’s a bit rough around the edges, it could be much better, but people get on with it.
- (Colville-Andersen, 2015)
As I have identified from the previous project that my focus is mainly around environmental, ecological and ethical design I chose these cities and countries based on their ranking in the 'The 25 most tolerant, progressive, and environmentally friendly countries in the world'.
22. Netherlands — The Netherlands performed best in the Social Progress Index, where it came in eighth compared to countries with a similar GDP per capita like Denmark, Finland and the UK.
13. Germany — Germany didn't fare so well in the Social Progress Report compared to similar nations, and dropped to 30th in 2016's Environmental Performance Index, meaning it missed out on a top 10 spot in Movehub's ranking. It performed best in the Gender Gap report, finishing in 13th.
8. Denmark — One of the friendliest countries in the world, Denmark is also in the top 10 in the Social Progress Index, and the World Economic Forum's competitive countries ranking. It scored well on education, and was one of the first to include computer science into its primary school curriculum.
- (Hancock, 2017)
I had gathered the information for the setting of persona, however had not yet addressed the problem. This is where I used personal experience, primary research and creative empathy as a focus to create the following three personas. There were each evaluated on their city bike friendliness, country consciousness, environmental concern, budget, average bike riding time per week and how they would rate the 3 KAF (Safety, Security and Storage) in order of personal importance.
ida - the conscious minimalist
I have attempted to minimalist my life because of the environmental impact consumerism can have in addition to freeing up more space in smaller accommodation. I used some of my current issues to help create the Ida persona.
OTTO - from fat to fit...ish
Although I have never been a heavily overweight German man, I have experienced some of the issues Otto faces; one of the most notable connecting to finding success on a stationary bike and wanting to move onto a bike that is.. well.. not so stationary and used as a mode of transport. However, like Otto, I was scared of the road, fear of ridicule and fear it would deter my motivation and therefore I still to this day will not travel on the road.
Rachel - the bike-dependent, animal lover.
Rachel, like myself, loves animals and especially her own. I came up with the persona after wondering how hard it would be to have a pet if their wasn't a car in the family and how people get by this issue if they are car-less. I wanted to explore how I could create a feasible pet cage product that would be useful to both primary (the owner) and secondary (the pet) users. I have found some products neglect one stakeholder in favour of the other and am looking to challenge that.
Hancock, E. (2017). The 25 most tolerant, progressive, and environmentally friendly countries in the world. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/the-worlds-most-tolerant-progressive-and-eco-friendly-countries-2017-1/#9-ireland-the-uks-neighbour-to-the-west-makes-it-into-movehubs-top-10-and-like-canada-performed-well-in-terms-of-access-to-higher-education-17 [Accessed 2 Feb. 2017].
Copenhagenize.eu. (2017). The Copenhagenize Index 2015 - Bicycle-friendly Cities. [online] Available at: http://copenhagenize.eu/index/criteria.html [Accessed 2 Feb. 2017].
Colville-Andersen, M. (2015). The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet. [online] WIRED. Available at: https://www.wired.com/2015/06/copenhagenize-worlds-most-bike-friendly-cities/ [Accessed 2 Feb. 2017].
Waehner, P. (2016). Obesity and Exercise: What To Do When You Can't Do Traditional Exercises. [online] Verywell. Available at: https://www.verywell.com/obesity-and-exercise-1231568 [Accessed 2 Feb. 2017].
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