Transit usability-removing-the-barriers


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Usability & User Experience in Transit systems often leaves much to be desired. Passengers encounter difficulties trip planning, ticket purchasing, navigating the system, entry, exits and many others. By using Human Centered Design principles and user focus throughout design and deployment, many transit usability barriers can be removed!

This presentation was initially posted on Slideshare in 2011 under a different profile (ilonaposner). Now it is reposted here under ilonap in an attempt to combine the two profiles, which were created accidentally without my knowledge.

Published in: Design, Technology, Business

Transit usability-removing-the-barriers

  1. 1. TRANSIT  USABILITY   Removing  the  Barriers   ILONA  POSNER   Usability  &  User  Experience  Consultant   Presented  at   Transforming  Transporta=on:     Economies  &  Communi=es     Summit   Detroit,  MI     April  7-­‐9,  2011   1  
  2. 2. Transit  Usability  Defined   Usability  is  the  extent  to  which  a  product  or  service  can  be  used  with   effec@veness,  efficiency,  and  sa@sfac@on.     Transit  Usability  Transit  riders  are  faced  with  usability  challenges  at  many   points  in  their  trips.    Transit  Usability  barriers  range  from  accessibility  for   wheelchairs  and  strollers,  to  planning  a  trip  using  operators  website  or  maps,   from  frustra=ons  during  payment  at  =cket  machines  to  entry  gates  and  valida=on   systems,  from  naviga=on  within  the  system  using  signage  to  transfers  between   transit  modes.  This  talk  will  discuss  design  tools  that  may  be  used  by  transit   authori=es  to  remove  transit  usability  barriers.   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   2  
  3. 3. Presenter  -­‐  ILONA  POSNER     Usability  &  User  Experience  Consultant   Consul@ng:  Transporta)on,  Web,  So0ware,  Hardware,  Mobile,   Healthcare,  Business  Strategy:  Los  Angeles  Metropolitan   Transporta=on  Authority,  Apple,  MicrosoU,  Yahoo!,  Pitney  Bowes,   Visa,  Autodesk,  AMD,  Bell,  Shoppers  Drugmart,  Human  Factors   Interna=onal,  Na=onal  Research  Council  of  Canada,  University   Health  Network,  Canada  Health  Infoway  …   Teaching:     Canadian  Film  Centre  –  Media  Lab  2000+   University  of  Toronto  –  Computer  Science  2004+   OCADU  –  Exec.  Masters  Design  for  Adver=sing,  2009+     Professional  Development  Courses  in  Industry  &  Conferences   Educa@on:  M.Sc.  Computer  Science,  University  of  Toronto   3  
  4. 4. CHALLENGES   Accessibility   Maps   Plan  trip     Parking   Buy  =cket       Navigate  &  transfer       Enter  system     Announcements   Signage   Accidents   Schedules   Maintenance   Exit   …  etc  …   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   4  
  5. 5. Points  of  View   A  point  of  view  is  worth  80  points  of  IQ.          -­‐  Alan  Kay   Customers   Operators   Technology   5   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011  
  6. 6. Keyhole  Effect   We can only see and perceive a small portion of the available information. ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   6  
  7. 7. Accessibility   ?   Retrofigng  old  systems   for  accessibility  creates   costly,  complex,  and     un-­‐usable  solu=ons:   •   too  high  LRT  entrances   •   locked  bridge  plates   •   unmanned  raise  liUs   ?   ?   ?   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   7  
  8. 8. Plan  Trip   Telephone  trip  planning  is  hard:   hearing,  language,  note  taking…   ?   ?   ?   Online  trip  planning  tools   are  oUen  confusing:  with   awkward  interac=ons  &   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011  layout,  &  duplicate  results   8  
  9. 9. Ticket  Machines  -­‐  Chicago   ?   This  transit  sta=on  entrance  has  three  =cket  machines!   Each  machine  is  covered  with  text,  images,  and  Post-­‐its!   New  riders  require  human  assistance  to  buy  =ckets.   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   ?   9  
  10. 10. Ticket  Machines  –  Zurich   Swiss  Trains  use  these  three  different  =cket  machines!   Buying  =ckets  requires  local  exper=se  -­‐  knowledge  of   geography,  zones,  area  codes…    Errors  occur  …   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   10  
  11. 11. Ticket  Design   Different  =cket  designs  pose   various  challenges  to  riders:   •  Detailed  transit  info   •  Zones  or  direc=on  covered   •  Expiry  date/=me   •  Usage  instruc=ons   •  Branding  messages   •  Legal  no=ces   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   11  
  12. 12. Tickets,  Signage,  Naviga=on   Italian  family  buys  a  28€  all-­‐day   train  pass  in  Munich.  Their  brief   sight  seeing  trip  gets  expensive!   Inspector  requires  them  to  buy    36€   addi@onal  @ckets  for  15  minute  ride   back  to  their  hotel  because  they   boarded  the  wrong  train.     ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   ?   ?   12  
  13. 13. Passes  &  Cards    Long  lineups  form  each  month  to   load  TAP  cards  and  buy  passes    Machine  func=onality  either  not   no=ced  or  not  trusted:   •  •  •  •  •  …  Tap  TAP  to  TAP  target   Validate  TAP   Add  Value  or  pass  to  TAP   Check  TAP  status   TAP  HERE        TAP  aqui   ?   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   13  
  14. 14. Entry  Gates  -­‐  BOSTON   Two  different  types  of  entry  gates  in  one  system  confuse  visitors.   ILONA  POSNER,     Usability  Consultant    ©2011   14  
  15. 15. Entry   New  users  challenged  by     •  Unmanned  entry   •  Honor  system   •  Valida=on  of  =ckets   •  Transfers  between  modes   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   15  
  16. 16. Maps   Using  maps  is  difficult  due   to  maps’  loca=on,  scale,   visibility,  availability,   quality,  legibility.   ILONA  POSNER,   Usability  Consultant     16   ©2011  
  17. 17. Doors   Train  doors  requiring  passenger  ac=on  challenge  riders  expec=ng  automa=c  doors.     ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   17  
  18. 18. User  Centered  Design  Tools     Observa=ons  and  surveys  of  current  riders   Interviews  of  all  stakeholders  –  riders,  opera=ons,  engineering   Personas  of  representa=ve  users  to  assist  design  decision  making   Usability  tes=ng  of  current  &  proposed  system  elements   Itera=ve  design&  prototyping    for  incremental  improvement   Compe==ve  analyses  of  worldwide  systems,  to  iden=fy  best  prac=ces   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   18  
  19. 19. Breakout  Discussion  Recommenda=ons     •  Transit  Riders  Advocacy  Needed   –  Listen  to  users,  observa=ons,  interviews,  stories   eg:  Ongoing  Efforts  into  Customer  &  Stakeholder  Research   •  Guidelines  Needed   –  Iden=fying  best  prac=ces  worldwide,  create  best  prac=ces  guidelines,   Standards  context  sensi=ve,  eg:  like  AASHTO  ,  APTA,  FTA…  expanded?!   –  Sugges=on  for  consor=um  of  Worldwide  Transit  Authori=es,  …wiki?   –  Students  involvement  in  research  &  problem  solving  (compe==ons)   •  Methods  for  Improvements   –  User  appropriate  design  –  low  tech,  high  tech,  no  tech,  op=ons…   appropriate  for  both  first  =me  use  and  expert  daily  users   –  Use  of  personas  represen=ng  different  users  to  aid  design  decisions   –  Itera=ng  design  of  transit  systems  including    usability  tes=ng  of  exis=ng   and  planned  systems   ILONA  POSNER,  Usability  Consultant    ©2011   19