Updated: Jun 1, 2022
The 2 hour short course User Experience for Mobility and Public Space has recently launched on the Urban Mobility Courses platform. In this post, we ask the instructor Trey Hahn about the story behind the course and the goals of it.
Why did you make the course?
Mobility planning and street design has the potential to change people's lives for the better, and help us live in cities ready for the future. However, there is a need to better incorporate the needs and characteristics of diverse types of everyday people into the streets we create. There is also a need to incorporate their experiences into our planning. This short course introduces user experience and usability as a starting point for these.
Who is this course intended for?
This is intended to teach principles through practical examples, and as such is useful for mobility professionals from a variety of roles (e.g. engineers, planners, designers, project managers, and decision makers). Students, and anyone interested, is also welcome!
What does this course offer that you think was missing from other online courses in mobility?
There are lots of online courses popping up recently about mobility and urban planning. This one differs by giving you a direct why behind the actions you make. It gives you a framework to directly understand people and make decisions based on that.
What is your background?
I’m from Southern California in the US, and then lived in a few different places, including 4 years in New York City. I am now in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. My professional background is mixed: urban planning, design, technology, and operations. I now do mix of research, teaching, and running Bicycle User Experience (BUX).
Tell me more about what it means to be “People-Centered”. You can use bicycle planning as an example since you work with BUX.
Over the last few years, I have developed a thought: that if you think deeply about people, comfortable, usable (bicycle) infrastructure and streets follow. So, "people-centered" is thinking about people and remembering that they will have to ultimately use the infrastructure that you design. It is also about making them part of the design process and fitting the infrastructure into their lives.
Even if someone decides not to take the course, what is one thing you hope they take away from this interview?
If you want to make a street or mobility mode accessible to everyday people of diverse backgrounds, it's not rocket science but it also won't happen by accident. Start by thinking more deeply about people and their needs! Who will be using the streets you are planning, what are their lives like, and how will you integrate a given mobility mode into it?
The short course is free and open for enrollment: https://urbanmobilitycourses.eu/courses/user-experience-for-mobility-and-public-space/