Using interventions to expose injustices and power structures in the mobility systems around us. Taking an explorative approach, using participatory design methods to find clarity in the complexity of mobility whilst designing for the breadth of the general public.


Moment is a Tangible Planner and Travel Assistant that help people with autism with their travels. With Moment, you can schedule activities and get a step-by-step travel plan for the week. Then, when you’re on the go, Moment helps you stay on track and react to any changes that come up.

Group project (2018, completed over 10 weeks) at the Umeå Institute of Design in collaboration with Umea Kommun, Ultra and RISE Interactive.

Team: Ivan Kunjasic, Martina Eriksson

The Challenge

For people with autism, travelling can be so challenging it becomes impossible. Difficulties perceiving time, reacting to change and planning ahead means travelling risks being overloaded with stress. Freedom to move is an essential right, a liberty that should be supported by the systems around us.

The specialist needs that come with autism are often not recognised: both on an everyday, individual level and an institutional, governmental level. In this project, we set out to bring together those with autism, the supportive individuals around them and public decision-makers. Using co-design to create and communicate a new concept, we aimed to empower both parties in a process tackling injustices in the mobility system.

Why Autism?

Our Vision

Moment is a travel planner and digital assistant that makes it easier for people with autism to plan their travels, then supports them along the way with personalised guidance and help when plans change.

Meet Moment


With the tangible planner, users can schedule their activities for the week. Each token represents an event, allowing for plans to be materially structured in an accessible form. Add a location and name to a specific token, and Moment creates a step-by-step travel plan.


A mobility assistant designed for the specific needs of people with autism. The app allows people to view their plans on the go and provides live help when traveling, guiding the user through each step of the journey. Information is nested so that only as much is displayed as is needed.

The Digital/Tangible Connection

Moment works in parallel with your daily life, playing a unique role before, during and after travel.

Place tokens to confirm an activity.

Snap and drag tokens to set the duration of an activity.

See a 360° preview of where you are going, helping the feeling of reassurance and confidence.

See what’s happening next with a swipe.

Conceptualising Time

Passing time is made tangible through a clear visual countdown, helping you understand how long to wait before the next step. The expanding drawer is visible wherever you are in the app, so you always know what’s coming next.

Smoothing Out the Bumps

When something goes wrong, it can be hard for people with autism to quickly react and make a new plan. The sudden changes we often experience when travelling can prove to be too stressful.

Moment knows when something’s up, and creates a new route that can be previewed – highlighting what changed, and where. If there’s a bus stop you don’t know, just check it out so you know what to expect.

Our Process

In our process we explored techniques and methods around design ethnography and participatory design. Through this collaborative process we aimed to democratise design: working together with the autistic community and local municipality, all stakeholders affected the project with creative and critical input.

We believe that real impact is made when we, as designers, strengthen peoples capacity to contribute.

Ethnographic Research

Getting out and ‘snowballing’: talking with people, sharing stories and pulling threads – all without agenda.

Prototyping in the Wild

Placing provocative probes in the city, testing social interactions, questioning values and exploring human behaviours.

Participatory Workshops

Engaging users and stakeholders in research materials, co-creating to learn from their years of experience.

Role Play

Acting out scenarios to quickly reach the human, emotional level when prototyping services.

Evolving Materiality

Working from a pop-up studio space with moveable walls, our design environment evolved with the needs of the project. All materials, from research through to concept, were made tangible and accessible: we aimed to create ‘pointability’ so that users, stakeholders and other designers could quickly enter the dialogue. Keeping materials physical, out of digital storage, helps open the collaborative design process and allows others to freely engage.

Gathering stories 

Journey mapping

Improv scenarios

Finding our cause

Through our research, we learnt that although there is a healthy support system for children living with autism in Sweden, for many this support drops off in adulthood. The additional loss of daily structure from leaving the education system means adult life can be challenging. We chose to focus on those with high-functioning autism, a group whose needs we learnt are normally invisible.

Learning from the experts

Understanding autism

Human technology

Current specialist tools feel alienating and stigmatising, using overly childish visuals. We sought to use the power and accessibility of existing devices to create a service that is designed for a specific set of needs, but not exclusive to them.

Getting it right, from macro to micro

When designing for autism, many established UX conventions needed rethinking. To ensure the experience was understandable and useable, we continually evaluated and refined our ideas by sharing lo-fi prototypes with users and experts.

Testing interfaces 

Communication design feedback

The Mobility Justice Design Guide

A guide to the methods used in our design process, explaining our unique approach to tackling mobility injustices and demonstrating with examples from the project.

Read the Mobility Justice Design Guide
(then come back!)