Navi Köln

University Project | Köln International School of Design | November 2015 - January 2016

Work Completed: Interaction Design and Service Design

Team Members: Bojian Han, Martin Schenider, Kai Ethan Gleim, Marcel Muller and Vivian Wu (myself)

I focused on UI Design, User Research, Concept Development, Hi-fidelity prototyping and Animating. All members participated in: User research, Data Analysis, Concept Development, User-journey mapping and Story-boarding.

With it's metropolitan vibe, diverse student scene and cityscape abound with cultural landmarks, Cologne (Köln) is one of Europe's prime destinations for young people. Close to one-fifth of Cologne's inhabitants have an international background and trains and trams (U-bahn and S-bahn) are the two of the most common means of getting around the city for young people (ages 16 - 28). With so many young people coming from abroad to Cologne each year, the tram and train stations of Cologne are constantly flooded with students and young people, rushing to the different platforms and finding the right tram/train to take. 

With this in mind my group and I asked ourselves:

How might we improve the experience of changing trams/trains and navigating through stations for young people coming from abroad and young people who are unfamiliar with Cologne?


Through secondary research, surveys, empathy interviews and observations in which we followed volunteers who were new and unfamiliar with Cologne around as they navigated their way through tram/train stations and took different routes to reach their desired destinations, data was collected and sorted through an affinity diagram in which topics, learnings, insights and ideas for potential solutions were identified. 

Key insights:

  • Young people that are new to Cologne need a better understanding of the structure and layout of multi-level tram and train stations.

  • Many Young people  have trouble navigating through stations to find the right platforms and trams they need to take. 

  • Young people that are new to Cologne also find it difficult to understand and read the existing signs and maps at stations.

This is a model of Neumarkt train station in Cologne, a multi-level station that goes underground in which many of our research participants found frustrating to try and navigate around. Locals complain about way finding at this particular station as well. This model, along with our data analysis helped us come up with potential solutions and deliverables that will make way finding in tram and train stations easier.

This is a model of Neumarkt train station in Cologne, a multi-level station that goes underground in which many of our research participants found frustrating to try and navigate around. Locals complain about way finding at this particular station as well. This model, along with our data analysis helped us come up with potential solutions and deliverables that will make way finding in tram and train stations easier.

The Deliverable

Navi Köln is an app that helps commuting and way-finding easier for young people who are new or unfamiliar with the city of Cologne. This app incorporates a unique in-station navigation system and real-time GPS tracking which helps users navigate their way through the often complicated layout of the tram and train station in Cologne. Users will reach their desired platforms and destinations with ease.

Note: Click on each image below to view it in full-scale

Demonstration of Navi Koln's alert feature