Tag: user experience


Good usability & design in changing home heating behaviour

Good usability & design in changing home heating behaviour

Seeing the new Phillipe Starke designed thermostat (http://www.stuff.tv/netatmos-philippe-starck-designed-thermostat-simply-beautiful/news) made us think about the role of good usability and design in changing behaviour. There are lots of factors in play in ensuring we heat our homes efficiently – good insulation etc.  But often ignored is the often poor usability of the thermostat and control devices that come with our heating systems. The lack of good usability...

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User led, centered or focused?

All designers talk about the need to understand users as part of the design process…indeed we often talk about “putting users at the heart of everything we do”.  But there is a clear distinction between being led by users (and what they think they want) and understanding what they need and developing new solutions around this. There is a view amongst some in the design...

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The Sleeper Train

The Sleeper Train

The news that First Great Western’s franchise renewal has included offering more sleeper services coincided with a piece on Radio 4’s Saturday Live this weekend on the London to Penzance sleeper train. It was a great reminder of what a wonderful experience the sleeper train it and how it captures the romance of travel in a way in which only rail travel can do. What...

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What is “Passenger Experience”?

Passenger experience has become a hot topic in public transport especially for airports.  Major airports are putting it at the centre of their thinking – for example, the mission statement for Heathrow Airport is making every journey better.  But what does it actually mean? Is it more than the latest bandwagon for every vendor of products and services to jump onto claiming that their product...

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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 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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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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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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Impact of digital mapping on wayfinding

Impact of digital mapping on wayfinding

An interesting article in the New Scientist recently highlighted some of the emerging trends in digital mapping and how our experience of navigating spaces and environments is changing.  What does this mean for traditional methods of providing navigational information? The way in which we find our way is changing.  The coverage of mapping information from Google, Apple, Bing and others is getting increasingly comprehensive.  The...

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The Olympics and designing for the visitor experience

The Olympics and designing for the visitor experience

Visiting the Olympic Park and other venues for the Olympics and the Paralympics, a clear winner was how brilliantly managed they have been from the visitor perspective.  What lessons might be learned for airports, railway stations or other public spaces? The main pitfall that was avoided was long queues.  There was much in the press before the games about the likelihood of long queues at venues (and...

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