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Emerald is an app where customers create a profile and register in order to be able to utilise the public transport system. Once an individual is registered, they are able to input the destination for their trip, and utilise location services to pinpoint exactly where they are while also being able to tailor the journey to their needs to establish criteria for what methods of transport they want to use.

From there, Emerald develops various journeys for the user through the public transport network. These journeys take into consideration what route is the most time efficient, has the least amount of emissions and what is the most economic. Each journey receives a sustainability rating to reiterate how the final cost of the journey

wi l l be priced accordingly. Once the user selects a route, it guides them to the appropriate station, reminds them of what station to get off at and provides instruction on how to find the other mode of transport, if applicable.

When the customer boards the transport, a sensor will detect their arrival and the app will update to reflect this update in their journey. In order to charge the customer according to how green their mode of transport is, each train, bus and ferry will be equipped with an emissions tester probe that wi l l be connected to a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) . This PLC will be connected to a wifi enabled antenna which will send the emissions data to the apps server in real time. This data will then be processed through the app’s algorithm, and automatically charge the customer accordingly. As most modern trains are run on electricity, the equipment will instead charge according to the watts used for the trip. This will also act as another incentivefor customers to use the train, because it uses less fossil fuels and wi l l therefore cost less than other modes of transport such as a bus.


From this project I learnt how to create high fidelity mockups. This new skill allowed me to communicate ideas more effectively and bring them to life. 


Emerald is an app based design solution that addresses the lack of affordable, convenient and sustainable transport options. The solution is grounded in a digital platform in order to ensure accessibility and ease of use. This will impact the community by increasing environmental awareness amongst customers.



We used a range of research techniques; Tend Matrix, Era Mapping, Business Model Canvas, 10 Types of Innovation, Venn Diagrams, Surveys and Interviews. From all of this we could see a trend towards more environmentally sustainable transport solutions. Examples of these include Tesla's electronic cars and Masdar's walkable city. We also saw an introduction to cashless transactions through Transport NSW's Opal system, as well as a push for technological integration with infrastructure to increase efficiency and reliability. The need for personalisation has increased drastically as users are more aware of external factors considering safety, hygiene, and comfort a result of COVID-19. From all the results we developed an affinity diagram to cluster our research to develop a persona, Sarah Jane.  Sarah embodies all the important focus areas for our design, including sustainability, reliability and hygiene.

Affinity Diagram:

Affinity diagram .png




Our first iteration focused on the development of initial ideas. As this is the most difficult part of the design process we utilised both the 'Mash-Up' and 'Brain Writing 6-5-3' activities to help generate concepts. We developed 4 concepts that focused on each of our focus points identified in the research; environmental, reliable, hygienic and personalised. These were then presented to our peers and tutors for feedback to improve our designs. 

Initial Ideas:

Initial concepts.png

Peer Feedback:



Taking on board al l the feedback we have decided to merge the two concepts 'Environmental ' and 'Reliability' to develop a new service that utilises an app interface and a physical aspect. To flesh out this concept and address the feedback we completed the two activities; 'Concept Scenarios' and 'Stakeholder Ideation'. These helped us to identify features to add to the new concept. 

Sketches were then developed to plan the interface frames, to identify what UI elements go where and how users would interact with each of them. This concept is demonstrated through annotations and highlighted features. These sketches were then presented to a range of test users, followed up with a semi structured interview for feedback to improve for the next iteration.

Emerald Sketch.png
Emerald storyboard.png


From the feedback we found that the app needed; more confirmation to ensure the user knew they were checked in to each mode of transport, a speed limit to the app to stop cheating on the point system and an increase of transparency with data being collected and tracked.


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