On Tuesday 21 March, the second workshop from Age UK Milton Keynes was held at the MK Gallery. A presentation was given by Virtual Viewing, a Milton Keynes-based company specializing in app development and digital mapping. The aim of the workshop was to find out from participants what they would like to see in an age-friendly map of the Theatre District in Milton Keynes.
OurMK has funded this joint venture between Age UK Milton Keynes and the MK Gallery. The mapping application would be a 2D map looking at the Theatre District of Milton Keynes. It is the hope of all parties that this app would help older people to engage with the new opening of the MK Gallery in 2018 and feed into a city-wide map of Milton Keynes which is being developed. This app would also help tackle loneliness and isolation that is often experienced by older generations by enabling them to reach the city centre easier and take part in cultural activities. The app would be available to use on smartphones, ipads and tablets and would include information that would be specifically useful to older people.
Initial suggestions for what should be included in the map were:
- Public and accessible toilets (i.e. where restaurants allow you to use the facilities)
- Disabled parking spaces and number of spaces available
- Bus stop locations and their routes
- An audio guide to the Theatre District
- An interface that is usable for the visually impaired
- Social elements such as where community events, coffee afternoons etc. are held
- Advertising of special rates for pensioners
- Free venues for community activities
- Event listings
The app would be rolled out with some training for older people and it was also suggested that there could possibly be large screens installed in the theatre district that mimicked the app, so that people would not have to carry their devices with them.
The next step for this project will be to hold another consultation workshop in April where the design specifications are finalised before Virtual Viewing starts developing the software. There will then be a final workshop in May where Age UK Milton Keynes hope to launch the pilot of this new app.
If you would like to be involved in these consultations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Caroline Odjidja at 01908 557891.