Insights


Keeping the trust of the user

Keeping the trust of the user

There was an article this week on the BBC Magazine webpage about whether or not pressing the button at pedestrian crossings actually does anything.  Interestingly the answers was “not always”.  It seems there are a number of types of crossing, especially at junctions, where the green man  is just part of the natural cycle of the lights and the timings are not impacted by pressing...

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The power of the crowd in wayfinding

The power of the crowd in wayfinding

In developing wayfinding strategy, we invest time in understanding individual users of a space and what their mental model might be and what their own particular motivations and goals could be. This interesting article reminded us not to forget the power of crowds on how people navigate an environment. We look a lot in wayfinding at decision points and how individuals make their decisions at these...

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How do we think about navigating? The link to wayfinding strategy…

How do we think about navigating? The link to wayfinding strategy…

At the core of a good wayfinding strategy is a good understanding of the various mental models users might hold of the space and how this will impact their navigation. That mental model is often influenced by different representations of the place or space. The classic example is the London tube map which famously distorts the layout of London.  On the Gizmodo site, London has...

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The role of choice in influencing behaviour

The role of choice in influencing behaviour

In designing physical spaces like stations, airports, hospitals and stadia we are always interested in how we can get people to go where we want them to. We need them to know where they are going, to have their ticket ready, etc. But the fact is we know, as human factors experts, that it is difficult to stop people doing what they want to do....

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Smarter Cities Billboards

IBM’s new billboard ads for its Smarter Cities technology have an added value in how they do something useful for the people passing them… Smart advertising (we’re sharing it aren’t we!) but also a though provoking concept – where else could similar ideas be applied? What feels nice about this is its simplicity – it isn’t chucking in some fancy, complex technology.  It’s just somewhere...

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Feelings over function?

Feelings over function?

As user-centered designers, we value the functionality of something highly: it has to deliver on being useful and understandable.  We know that we need also to value the aesthetic and its contribution to our feelings of well-being.  But perhaps sometimes it is harder to tap into those other little parts of the experience of using a product or moving through an environment. On the BBC...

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Signage for me – personal navigation

Signage for me – personal navigation

A design firm in the US has produced a new signage product called Points which is connected to the internet and is a dynamic and flexible display.  It can take data from various sources including social media and then change the sign display and the direction it is pointing in response. On the surface this seems like a bit of fun.  At the moment you...

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The reality of wayfinding in railway stations

The reality of wayfinding in railway stations

Nice little blog that sums up the wayfinding experience of many in stations and how then the customer service has to rescue the situation (or sometimes fails to do so).  Most wayfinding mistakes result in annoyance or stress…but others have more significant consequences http://wendyhome.com/2013/04/18/4-hour-detour/


Influencing modal shift in transport systems

Influencing modal shift in transport systems

Sometimes to get people to make different choices about how they travel you have to make things easy for passengers.  This usually means think about transport in a connected way and looking at what people need and want and what might be barriers. So great example here from Germany.  Cyclists often use another mode of transport as part of their journey – interaction with trams...

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Announcements – useful or annoying?

Announcements – useful or annoying?

On all public transport systems we are generally bombarded by verbal announcements, many pre-recorded.  Some are useful – “the next train from platform 6 is the …” but most are just noise – don’t run when its wet, keep your belongings with you, etc. It is similar to how our visual field is assailed by signs and information.  Again we have to look for those...

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