EventsLearn Downtown: Designing Transit Safety Solutions

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Learn Downtown: Designing Transit Safety Solutions

12:15 PM – 1:00 PM
Stanley A. Milner (Downtown)


Join MacEwan University Professor Isabelle Sperano and students Vik Chu and Dominic Lafrance to learn about a transit safety solution recently designed in partnership with the Edmonton Transit Service. 

This session is part of Learn Downtown, a City of Learners speaker series offering bite-size learning opportunities downtown. Complimentary lunch will be provided in support by The Downtown Vibrancy Strategy.

In this talk, Isabelle Sperano will present a project she conducted with her design students in a 4th year course in digital experience design (DESN445 Interaction Design III). The class partnered with ETS to explore the topic of safety in public transportation and to suggest innovative digital solutions that would help Edmonton riders feel safer. In order to design useful and adapted solutions, the class needed to understand better the issues related to safety and transportation, the various actors, their needs, their experiences. To do so, the first part of the project was dedicated to user research. Students acted as a research team, where they used various research methods (interviews, social media analysis, comparative analysis, observation, etc.) to understand and make sense of the topic presented to them. In the second part of the project, students identified a design opportunity or an issue they wanted to work on and created a new product or service. Vik Chu and Dominic Lafrance, two design students from the class, will present the solution they designed to help Edmontonians feel safer.

Isabelle Sperano is an associate professor at MacEwan University. She teaches courses on Digital Experience Design(DXD) and Design Research. She is also the coordinator of the DXD pathway and Minors offered at MacEwan. More than 20 years of experience in the field drove Dr. Sperano to embrace a systemic, social and human-centered perspective on interaction design. This approach reveals itself in her teaching, notably by raising student awareness about the importance of conducting quality design research, of developing a deep understanding of users and of using holistic frameworks to elaborate useful and usable design solutions. As she strongly believes in the power of collaborative practices, she is predominantly involved in interdisciplinary research teams with education, information science, technical communication, psychology and computer science researchers and practitioners.

Dominic Lafrance is a 5th year student currently pursuing a Bachelor of Design at MacEwan University. As a creative person, Dominic is motivated by constructive activities and creative problem solving, so spends his time working on video, animation, or user experience projects that keep the digital gears turning. For Dominic, any design project is a special opportunity to conduct research, experiment, and iterate to discover a unique solution to a specific problem. 

Vik Chu is a 4th year Bachelor of Design student at MacEwan University. His primary areas of interest are user experience and interface (UX/UI) design. He is currently working on a research project with Dr. Isabelle Sperano and Department of Design Chair Robert Andruchow in partnership with the City of Edmonton to explore how design and its digital counterparts can play a role in transforming governments. When he’s not tackling creative design challenges, Vik can be found researching architecture for a future graduate degree.

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