The Client

Trueform are a UK based medium-sized industrial engineering and design company specialising in the manufacturing of public signage and wayfinding for all modes of passenger transport. Operating internationally, Trueform holds contracts with major cities like London, New York and Shanghai, for the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of, intelligent solutions for Public Transportation, Intelligent Mobility, Smart City, Zero Emission and Digital Display communication. 

The Problem

Trueform recognise that connectivity, data and the Internet of things are changing the way urban citizens interact with cities and with each other. The challenge is how best to utilise these technologies to enhance people’s experiences. Facing pressure from international competitors Trueform also needed to push ahead to remain competitive. Thus, to outpace the competition, Trueform wanted to develop understanding of their end users needs, to provide more innovative and personalised forms of wayfinding for citizens on-the-go.  

How We Helped

Our role with Trueform was to execute a user-centred approach to get a deeper understanding of their end users – people moving around and through a city – to connect communities and citizens on-the-go. Through the Design Thinking Double Diamond methodology, we delivered a 3-month collaborative early stage design thinking project through:

  • Discovering the users’ motivations. We did this by interviewing people during rush hour in central London and riding alongside users to observe and interrogate their behaviours.
  • Gathering insight and learnings from other manifestations of placemaking, wayfinding and community artistic expression in parallel sector reviews.
  • Talks from key experts including thought leaders from smart cities, creative design, health and wellbeing and emerging technology disciplines.
  • Clustering, interrogating and processing all research and findings into one inspirational challenge statement from which to form ideas.
  • Working with Trueform’s staff we developed four new human-centred product concepts.

Observations and Insight Fragments

New Ideas

Final Concept Routes


For Trueform this project has yielded 4 innovative urban wayfinding product concept routes. Within this, one route has been recognised as a priority area to action immediately for further development and investment.  Trueform now have a Design-Thinking toolkit which assisted in upskilling the core project team in how to run a Design Thinking project. The process has developed a user-centric approach to wayfinding for the businesses.

“The Design Thinking journey that Tenshi took us down created some really refreshing perspectives on how to engage our end-users. Working side by side we were then able to take these perspectives and build four concept routes which we are excited to develop further”  – Rob Davies, Project Manager, Trueform.

See more of our Smart City work