AIGA Boston’s Inaugural Design-a-thon Recap

On April 29th, AIGA Boston hosted our first ever community design-a-thon at Fab@CIC, where graphic designers, design-thinkers, and design-enthusiasts came together to focus on one single task: using human-centered design to rethink the usability of the Boston Harbor Islands’ ferry schedule.

The workshop was facilitated by Ela Ben-Ur, using the Innovators’ Compass framework. This framework guided participants through an iterative and creative process based around four primary questions that were used to guide the research and experiments throughout the day:

What’s happening and why?
What matters most?
What ways are there?
What’s a step to try?
These questions helped guide participants to explorations and solve for the usability of the Boston Harbor Islands’ ferry schedule, and why this matters in the context of each of the personas. Each of the teams approached the problem from a different perspective, and each tried different steps throughout the design-a-thon to solve for the ferry schedule.

Boston Harbor Islands introduced the different persons that visit the islands and that they would be solving for when solving for the ferry schedule usability. These four personas were: the walk up family, the local explorer, the camper/beacher, and the super adventurer. With knowledge of the Innovators’ Compass framework, human-centered design principles, and the Boston Harbor Island personas, teams worked together brainstorming, experimenting and prototyping solutions. Solutions included simplifying the schedule hierarchy, color coding the ferry routes, and creating simplified ferry routes similar to transit routes.
Boston Harbor Now plans to exhibit the design prototypes at George’s Island over the summer and gather customer feedback to inform the ferry schedule design in 2019.

Participants were guided
through an iterative and creative process and was based on the four primary questions

 

 

Close up of makes and sketches of possible schedule solutions

Boston Harbor Islands introduced the different persons that visit the islands and that they would be solving for when solving for the ferry schedule usability

By Natalie Ferro
Published July 9, 2018