Speculative design for an existing product

Project Ideas

In this post, I describe my idea of a speculative design for an existing product - the mobile app of the Swiss Railways.


I was about to travel on the night train when I found out that it was impossible to buy a ticket on the mobile application of the Swiss railway. So, I decided to design the functionality of buying the ticket on mobile device. I just finished a speculative design course, so I wanted to use that knowledge and to imagine how the purchase would look like in the future.

Design process

First, I wanted to imagine an artefact from the future - a simple process where you could easily purchase a ticket for the night train and get all the information about the journey.

I imagined a simple flow with several steps

  • Display timetable with the trains
  • Get the information about different classes in a night train
  • Choose your class option
  • Provide your preferences regarding a place reservation

My hypothesis was that the lacking information about travel options was a big hurdle for choosing the night train. So it was crucial to provide information about comfort classes and their properties.

To make the prototype look as similar to the current design system of the Swiss railways as possible, I found the existing design system and decided to use it. It made the process a lot quicker and more efficient.

I created two options to display the initial information and tested it with a potential user.

The first variant was more intiotive. I showed the common properties of the train and I could find the information about classes anyway.


After finishing the prototype, I posted it on social media and got some positive feedback. The users were very excited about the opportunity to book and travel in such a way.

I found out that currently the booking is difficult because of regulations and some business related restrictions. Hopefully in the future the booking of the night trains will be easier and more accessible and this way of travel will become more popular.