Designing New Experiences for Indian Railways
As part of our International Open Elective at NID, I worked on the project to design new experiences for Indian Railways. It was guided by Prof. Rodrigo Medina from DUOC UC Design School in Chile. During this project, I contributed as a design team member by conducting the field study, ideating solutions, mapping scenarios and designing entire journey experience.
While working with the team, we encountered a very critical behaviour pattern. At Indian Railway Stations, passengers are accustomed to huge delays and waiting time. Due to this behaviour, platforms are always filled with people who are waiting for their upcoming trains. Also, railway station infrastructure is not designed to handle this access waiting customers. Infrastructure is mainly designed considering moving traffic, not large amount of static traffic waiting for their multi-hour delay trains.
I took this insight forward and created a system to convert this unproductive waiting time into meaningful experiences. The system, called Rahi, will address the basic need of "informed actions" by providing real-time tracking of your train. Rahi also created a new business avenue for new customers who want to explore the station surroundings but they can't go out because of uncertain train timings. Food, Hospitality, Transport and Retail sector opportunities can be generated by implementing Raahi in existing system.
Rahi connects two data sets:
1. Passenger and Train Information
2. Information on nearby vendor and places
Krishna has to catch a train from Ahmedabad to Delhi and as always he arrived an hour before the journey time. But to his disappointment, he realized that the train is running late. Thankfully he had Rahi application which quickly prompted the estimated arrival time which was 4 hours later.
What to do? Hmm...No problem!
Rahi application also gave several options to use his time productively. It just so happens that he discovers a landmark place on his revered idol-Mahatma Gandhi very close by. He spends his time at Sabarmati Ashram and reaches to station on time for his train.
Through this project journey, I discovered that it is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission(with good intention) as truly candid insight and ideas will flourish in open atmosphere driven by curiosity and inquisitiveness.
I learnt how to structure and organize ideas and create an idea-meritocracy in a team.
A systemic issue cannot be overcomed by isolated design, we need to design scalable systems which will resolve the existing systemic challenge.