Opening up access to public transport for migrants and refugees

A multilingual app to help new migrants and refugees navigate the public transport system and settle in to the Mildura area.

SMECC had found that language barriers were making it difficult for migrant residents to access existing public transportation apps.

The Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council (SMECC) supports new migrants and refugees of all nationalities to settle into the Mildura area. SMECC had found that language barriers were making it difficult for migrant residents to access existing public transportation apps. These apps did not support the languages spoken by many members of the community, nor did they provide much local context. SMECC approached Portable with a clear brief: create a mobile-friendly public transport website for members of the Mildura community for whom English isn't a native language. Portable worked with SMECC and the community to design and develop a mobile-friendly public transport website for members of the Mildura community who are culturally and linguistically diverse.

Approach

Portable employed its technical expertise and human-centred design methodology to work towards a mobile-friendly web app.

We began this process by exploring options for third-party connections and existing applications which provided maps and public transport information. We identified Google Maps as the most suitable option.

We then conducted several internal design sprints, generating wireframes to map the prototype and user journeys for the site. We then designed a fully interactive prototype for SMECC to take to their users to test.

Feedback from this user testing informed the development of the final product. This included integrating with the Public Transport Victoria timetable and translating all content into multiple languages. In designing the tool, we made sure new languages and locations could be easily added in the future.

Outcomes

The final product provides easy to navigate information about local public transport.

The final product provides easy to navigate information about local public transport, as well as links to key local health, community and social services. Importantly, it is available in six languages widely spoken in the area: English, Arabic, Farsi, Kirundi, Vietnamese, Farsi and Swahili.

This website has been rolled out in the region and we are considering how it can be scaled to other regions where it could build on existing infrastructure.

Visit the SMECC Guide at Smeccguide.com

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