Fresh From The Field — Connecting Downtown Auckland by Maynard Design

6 months ago by

Ahead of our upcoming workshop with Simone Speet and Eden Short (wayfinding designers at Maynard Design), Eden shared this Fresh From The Field. The Connecting Downtown Auckland project investigates the multi-modal public transport experience for Auckland’s Downtown Infrastructure Development Programme

If you have new or recent work that you would like to share in Fresh from the Field email  for details.


The brief:

Globally, 42% of commuters wish to explore alternative transport modes. The availability and cost of this transport will increasingly shape mobility and the experience of our cities. Our recent project in Auckland shows how everyday people can shape their future city, making a revitalised urban precinct highly functional for today, and flexible enough to absorb future trends.

The waterfront of Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland is now firmly associated with civic efforts to evolve the city to meet future needs. Works are ongoing across three major public transport interchanges – ferry, bus and train – a cyclepath, new streetscapes and public spaces. Divided into isolated projects, our wayfinding and information strategies needed to harmonise these sites. Developing a design response required an understanding of the complex social, behavioural and operational factors underpinning user experience across the precinct.


Studio response:

Downtown Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland’s wayfinding system connects five transport modes across a dynamic and culturally significant urban precinct at the city’s harbour edge.

The design of the wayfinding system draws on insights gained from a tailored set of ethnographic research activities. Citizens and visitors alike will be provided with a seamlessly integrated toolkit to make connections and find their way.

Our work to mobilise downtown Auckland investigated the customer experience of an area, leveraging multiple wayfinding interventions. Our research gathered insights on how people are navigating trains, buses, ferries and cycling to inform tangible and future-proofed strategies and outcomes.

Maynard Design set out to investigate the multi-modal experience for unfamiliar customers. To do this they undertook intercept interviews, shadowing and co-design workshops. Our core findings provided the criteria for the successful implementation of the wayfinding system over the next 3-10 years. Building a robust understanding of the customer experience in the Auckland Downtown precinct in collaboration with thier client, SMEs and the public. These insights underpinned the development of a holistic and contextually responsive wayfinding strategy for multiple transport modes.

Field research methods were tailored to understand the existing system and to push the envelope to understand how customers interact with current information. Maynard Design aimed to understand how stress affects confidence and consumption of visual communication.

Utilising baseline and field research as well as co-design workshop activities with stakeholder and customer input provided a comprehensive understanding of various mindsets. This engaged participants to articulate what customers may need for a positive, connected, multi-modal wayfinding journey.

Maynard are now working to implement this research across the Downtown programme in the form of wayfinding strategy, product, and information design.

Auckland DA Workshop: Wayfinding for Designers

$300+gst Professional | $200+gst Design Assembly Friend | $50+gst Student
Morning tea provided.

(Not a DA Friend? Details on how to sign up can be found here).

Get Tickets

Good wayfinding enables confidence in where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. Wayfinding is often the first touch point of a product or service and, when done well, creates stress-free, seamless user experiences. Many built environments are becoming more complex in response to urban population growth. Building designs and streetscapes are growing and evolving in response to larger volumes of users, better amenity and reallocation of space to enable more efficient and ecologically friendly mobility choices. In response, how we navigate efficiently through cities, stations, buildings, and airports has become increasingly nuanced. The needs and wants of people using public places drive their behaviour, decision making and navigation strategies. Gain insight and hands-on experience of creating rational design systems that respond to a variety of abilities, needs, and desires, and reflect on how this affects the quality of user experiences.


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