City experience

21 Jul 2009 - 4:29am
5 years ago
25 replies
1107 reads
rob
2005

Has anyone provided UX / usability services to a city or local council,
regarding:

- Road / sidewalk design and maintenance
- Road signs - locations, standards, maintenance
- Navigation signs - to local sites, main roads, points of interest
- Traffic calming
- Pedestrian crossings
- Shared spaces
- and in general, how to make cities more walkable, safe, and a great
place to live.

I'd like to hear your experiences, war stories, and how you convinced the
city that they needed you (or did they "get it" from the start?)

Thanks,
Rob

___________________
Rob Epstein
UX consultant

Comments

21 Jul 2009 - 8:55am
Gregor Kiddie
2008

That's a very intriguing set of questions there! No experience but my
curiosity is piqued!

How could you re-design a road (or pavement) from a UX perspective...
Fantastic question for an interview!

Gk.

Gregor Kiddie
Senior Developer
INPS

Tel: 01382 564343

Registered address: The Bread Factory, 1a Broughton Street, London SW8
3QJ

Registered Number: 1788577

Registered in the UK

Visit our Internet Web site at www.inps.co.uk

The information in this internet email is confidential and is intended
solely for the addressee. Access, copying or re-use of information in it
by anyone else is not authorised. Any views or opinions presented are
solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of
INPS or any of its affiliates. If you are not the intended recipient
please contact is.helpdesk at inps.co.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Rob
Epstein
Sent: 21 July 2009 11:29
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] City experience

Has anyone provided UX / usability services to a city or local council,
regarding:

- Road / sidewalk design and maintenance
- Road signs - locations, standards, maintenance
- Navigation signs - to local sites, main roads, points of interest
- Traffic calming
- Pedestrian crossings
- Shared spaces
- and in general, how to make cities more walkable, safe, and a great
place to live.

I'd like to hear your experiences, war stories, and how you convinced
the
city that they needed you (or did they "get it" from the start?)

Thanks,
Rob

___________________
Rob Epstein
UX consultant
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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21 Jul 2009 - 9:38am
Jesse Zolna
2008

One example I read about in a recent book, Nudge I believe, was Lake
Shore Drive in Chicago. One section of road had many accidents because
it was a dangerous curve and people would ignore signs to slow down.
The city of Chicago drew lines on the road that gradually came to be
closer and closer together. The visual experience gave drivers the sensation of
speeding up. Drivers compensate by slowing down, and accident rates
have dropped.

You could use that example in your pitch.

-Jesse

__________________
Jesse S. Zolna, Ph.D.

________________________________
From: Gregor Kiddie <gkiddie at inpses.co.uk>
To: Rob Epstein <robinepstein at gmail.com>; discuss at ixda.org
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 10:55:00 AM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] City experience

That's a very intriguing set of questions there! No experience but my
curiosity is piqued!

How could you re-design a road (or pavement) from a UX perspective...
Fantastic question for an interview!

Gk.

Gregor Kiddie
Senior Developer
INPS

Tel: 01382 564343

Registered address: The Bread Factory, 1a Broughton Street, London SW8
3QJ

Registered Number: 1788577

Registered in the UK

Visit our Internet Web site at www.inps.co.uk

The information in this internet email is confidential and is intended
solely for the addressee. Access, copying or re-use of information in it
by anyone else is not authorised. Any views or opinions presented are
solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of
INPS or any of its affiliates. If you are not the intended recipient
please contact is.helpdesk at inps.co.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Rob
Epstein
Sent: 21 July 2009 11:29
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] City experience

Has anyone provided UX / usability services to a city or local council,
regarding:

- Road / sidewalk design and maintenance
- Road signs - locations, standards, maintenance
- Navigation signs - to local sites, main roads, points of interest
- Traffic calming
- Pedestrian crossings
- Shared spaces
- and in general, how to make cities more walkable, safe, and a great
place to live.

I'd like to hear your experiences, war stories, and how you convinced
the
city that they needed you (or did they "get it" from the start?)

Thanks,
Rob

___________________
Rob Epstein
UX consultant
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

21 Jul 2009 - 11:39am
Christopher Monnier
2009

Here's an example from Minneapolis where the two terminals at MSP
airport (as well as the signs directing freeway traffic to the
airport) are being relabeled (at tremendous cost) because the current
labels are uninformative. Currently the airport's two terminals are
labeled "Lindberg" and "Humphrey," but those names don't mean
anything to most travelers. So the terminals are being relabeled as
"Terminal 1" and "Terminal 2," respectively. Additionally, the
signs will indicate which airlines are associated with which
terminal.

Some up-front usability testing would have revealed the hubris of
using cryptic terminal labels when it would have been cheap to make
changes and could have saved the airport and whoever's paying for
the freeway signs a lot of money.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897

21 Jul 2009 - 12:23pm
rob
2005

Jesse, that's a great example of what I'm looking for.

Gregor, on the one hand I'm looking for real cases to quote, and on the
other, I'm trying to figure how to convince the powers-that-be (engineers
and so on) that although they're highly qualified, when plans are
implemented, the reality for drivers and pedestrians is sometimes far from
ideal, and even dangerous.

Sidewalks and crossings are often not usable by disabled folk, or even
"regular" pedestrians. Road intersections often have poor fields of vision
for drivers and pedestrians - resulting in injuries and death.

The common response to my pitch (which includes photographs of real issues),
is: "we design/build according to local law and standards", "lack of
budget", "your solution is *not desirable to pedestrians* etc."

I know that no studies are carried out where I live, and no drivers /
pedestrians / residents are involved.

On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 6:38 PM, Jesse Zolna <jessezolna at yahoo.com> wrote:

> One example I read about in a recent book, Nudge I believe, was Lake Shore
> Drive in Chicago. One section of road had many accidents because it was a
> dangerous curve and people would ignore signs to slow down. The city of
> Chicago drew lines on the road that gradually came to be closer and closer
> together. The visual experience gave drivers the sensation of speeding up.
> Drivers compensate by slowing down, and accident rates have dropped.
>
> You could use that example in your pitch.
>
> -Jesse
>
> __________________
> Jesse S. Zolna, Ph.D.
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Gregor Kiddie <gkiddie at inpses.co.uk>
> *To:* Rob Epstein <robinepstein at gmail.com>; discuss at ixda.org
> *Sent:* Tuesday, July 21, 2009 10:55:00 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [IxDA Discuss] City experience
>
> That's a very intriguing set of questions there! No experience but my
> curiosity is piqued!
>
> How could you re-design a road (or pavement) from a UX perspective...
> Fantastic question for an interview!
>
> Gk.
>
> Gregor Kiddie
> Senior Developer
> INPS
>
> Tel: 01382 564343
>
> Registered address: The Bread Factory, 1a Broughton Street, London SW8
> 3QJ
>
> Registered Number: 1788577
>
> Registered in the UK
>
> Visit our Internet Web site at www.inps.co.uk
>
> The information in this internet email is confidential and is intended
> solely for the addressee. Access, copying or re-use of information in it
> by anyone else is not authorised. Any views or opinions presented are
> solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of
> INPS or any of its affiliates. If you are not the intended recipient
> please contact is.helpdesk at inps.co.uk
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Rob
> Epstein
> Sent: 21 July 2009 11:29
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] City experience
>
> Has anyone provided UX / usability services to a city or local council,
> regarding:
>
> - Road / sidewalk design and maintenance
> - Road signs - locations, standards, maintenance
> - Navigation signs - to local sites, main roads, points of interest
> - Traffic calming
> - Pedestrian crossings
> - Shared spaces
> - and in general, how to make cities more walkable, safe, and a great
> place to live.
>
> I'd like to hear your experiences, war stories, and how you convinced
> the
> city that they needed you (or did they "get it" from the start?)
>
> Thanks,
> Rob
>
> ___________________
> Rob Epstein
> UX consultant
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
>

21 Jul 2009 - 12:28pm
rob
2005

Christopher,

Another classic - and typical issue. So how do we get the message across to
the people responsible???

On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 1:39 PM, Christopher Monnier <monn0016 at umn.edu>wrote:

> Here's an example from Minneapolis where the two terminals at MSP
> airport (as well as the signs directing freeway traffic to the
> airport) are being relabeled (at tremendous cost) because the current
> labels are uninformative. Currently the airport's two terminals are
> labeled "Lindberg" and "Humphrey," but those names don't mean
> anything to most travelers. So the terminals are being relabeled as
> "Terminal 1" and "Terminal 2," respectively. Additionally, the
> signs will indicate which airlines are associated with which
> terminal.
>
> Some up-front usability testing would have revealed the hubris of
> using cryptic terminal labels when it would have been cheap to make
> changes and could have saved the airport and whoever's paying for
> the freeway signs a lot of money.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

21 Jul 2009 - 12:52pm
Anthony Hempell
2007

I saw the following article in Slate on roundabouts (and the cultural
aversion to them in the US) which may provide some starting points for
you; the hyperlinks are very good as well.

http://www.slate.com/id/2223035/

"roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections for a simple
reason: By dint of geometry and traffic rules, they reduce the number
of places where one vehicle can strike another by a factor of four.
They also eliminate the left turn against oncoming traffic—itself one
of the main reasons for intersection danger—as well as the prospect of
vehicles running a red light or speeding up as they approach an
intersection to "beat the light." The fact that roundabouts may "feel"
more dangerous to the average driver is a good thing: It increases
vigilance."

On 21-Jul-09, at 11:28 AM, Rob Epstein wrote:
>
>
> On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 1:39 PM, Christopher Monnier
> <monn0016 at umn.edu>wrote:
>
>> Here's an example from Minneapolis where the two terminals at MSP
>> airport (as well as the signs directing freeway traffic to the
>> airport) are being relabeled (at tremendous cost) because the current
>> labels are uninformative. Currently the airport's two terminals are
>> labeled "Lindberg" and "Humphrey," but those names don't mean
>> anything to most travelers. So the terminals are being relabeled as
>> "Terminal 1" and "Terminal 2," respectively. Additionally, the
>> signs will indicate which airlines are associated with which
>> terminal.
>>
>> Some up-front usability testing would have revealed the hubris of
>> using cryptic terminal labels when it would have been cheap to make
>> changes and could have saved the airport and whoever's paying for
>> the freeway signs a lot of money.
>>

21 Jul 2009 - 1:04pm
rob
2005

Anthony, some good links.

My city has a well-known road safety issue. My real challenge is "simply"
getting the authorities to acknowledge they have a problem - and hire me!

On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 9:52 PM, Anthony Hempell <ahempell at telus.net> wrote:

> I saw the following article in Slate on roundabouts (and the cultural
> aversion to them in the US) which may provide some starting points for you;
> the hyperlinks are very good as well.
>
> http://www.slate.com/id/2223035/
>
>
> "roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections<http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1446639> for
> a simple reason: By dint of geometry and traffic rules, they reduce the
> number of places where one vehicle can strike another by a factor of four.
> They also eliminate the left turn against oncoming traffic—itself one of the
> main reasons for intersection danger—as well as the prospect of vehicles
> running a red light or speeding up as they approach an intersection to "beat
> the light." The fact that roundabouts may "feel" more dangerous to the
> average driver is a good thing: It increases vigilance."
>
>
> On 21-Jul-09, at 11:28 AM, Rob Epstein wrote:
>
>
>
> On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 1:39 PM, Christopher Monnier <monn0016 at umn.edu
> >wrote:
>
> Here's an example from Minneapolis where the two terminals at MSP
>
> airport (as well as the signs directing freeway traffic to the
>
> airport) are being relabeled (at tremendous cost) because the current
>
> labels are uninformative. Currently the airport's two terminals are
>
> labeled "Lindberg" and "Humphrey," but those names don't mean
>
> anything to most travelers. So the terminals are being relabeled as
>
> "Terminal 1" and "Terminal 2," respectively. Additionally, the
>
> signs will indicate which airlines are associated with which
>
> terminal.
>
>
> Some up-front usability testing would have revealed the hubris of
>
> using cryptic terminal labels when it would have been cheap to make
>
> changes and could have saved the airport and whoever's paying for
>
> the freeway signs a lot of money.
>
>
>
>

21 Jul 2009 - 2:17pm
Sharon Greenfield5
2008

I have a friend who went to school for Urban Planning.
She was required to take multiple design classes.

On Jul 21, 2009, at 11:28 AM, Rob Epstein wrote:

> Christopher,
>
> Another classic - and typical issue. So how do we get the message
> across to
> the people responsible???
>
> On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 1:39 PM, Christopher Monnier
> <monn0016 at umn.edu>wrote:
>
>> Here's an example from Minneapolis where the two terminals at MSP
>> airport (as well as the signs directing freeway traffic to the
>> airport) are being relabeled (at tremendous cost) because the current
>> labels are uninformative. Currently the airport's two terminals are
>> labeled "Lindberg" and "Humphrey," but those names don't mean
>> anything to most travelers. So the terminals are being relabeled as
>> "Terminal 1" and "Terminal 2," respectively. Additionally, the
>> signs will indicate which airlines are associated with which
>> terminal.
>>
>> Some up-front usability testing would have revealed the hubris of
>> using cryptic terminal labels when it would have been cheap to make
>> changes and could have saved the airport and whoever's paying for
>> the freeway signs a lot of money.
>>
>>

21 Jul 2009 - 12:48pm
Anonymous

Hi Rob,

Your first post sounded like you are pitching for work, but now you
come across as a concerned citizen.

Specifically to your last post, I'd check what standards they are
referring to. Standards bodies aren't always well funded and
therefore aren't able to update standards as regularly. They might
be relying on an ancient standard. That said, standards have no
teeth.

Do they have an access consultant in-house that can qualify the
usability for disabled people? Can you commission a report from an
access / DDA consultant?

Can you obtain statistics to demonstrate that the number of injuries
in these locations are greater than elsewhere?

Can you approach a councillor directly?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897

21 Jul 2009 - 3:12pm
Anthony Hempell
2007

Reading your questions again, you're really asking the kinds of things
that would be taken on by an urban planning department; which would
have most likely people who specialized in urban land use planning
(public spaces and design requirements/restrictions on private spaces)
or an urban transport planning.

Generally urban planners have at least an undergraduate degree in
geography and a masters in urban planning. A city or council would
probably not hire you to do this kind of work, although they may see
some use in having someone look at human factors and visual design /
wayfinding elements of such things as signage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_planning

On 21-Jul-09, at 3:29 AM, Rob Epstein wrote:

> Has anyone provided UX / usability services to a city or local
> council,
> regarding:
>
> - Road / sidewalk design and maintenance
> - Road signs - locations, standards, maintenance
> - Navigation signs - to local sites, main roads, points of interest
> - Traffic calming
> - Pedestrian crossings
> - Shared spaces
> - and in general, how to make cities more walkable, safe, and a
> great
> place to live.
>
> I'd like to hear your experiences, war stories, and how you
> convinced the
> city that they needed you (or did they "get it" from the start?)
>
> Thanks,
> Rob
>
>

21 Jul 2009 - 3:17pm
Diana Wynne
2008

Personally I find the issues of design in transportation equally
fascinating. But I share Jonathan's skepticism about using this as a means
of getting contracts, at least in the short term.

First, cities need to figure out they have a problem on their own. They have
citizens shouting opinions left and right for free, without someone wanting
to impose a new perspective, redo their street signs, and get paid for it.

But more seriously, given the way city government and national
transportation funding works, simply figuring that part out does not give
them budget or leeway to hire a (non-union, non-transportation engineer,
non-government employee) ux designer and implement her recommendations.

If you were starting from a city official who formally recognized a specific
issue (accidents at a particular intersection), who had jurisdiction over
the agencies in charge of that area, and who had posted a public request for
solutions, that would be different. You'd at least know what the terms of
the RFP were, and what the composition of the team needed to include.

I also don't mean to suggest this is an entirely futile pursuit--I contact
my local government periodically with feedback, and occasionally get a
response. I was genuinely pleased when the designers at BART.gov
incorporated my comments about how nonsensical their map is for the great
number of riders who take their trains within the city of San Francisco, and
added city labels to differentiate between 19th Street (Oakland) and 24th
Street (San Francisco) on the new website.

And I agree there's great need for a UX consultancy specializing in urban
planning, and plenty of room for articles and advocacy. Someone up to speed
on ARRA (stimulus) funding could help identify opportunities.

But don't hold your breath. I wouldn't expect local governments to move
quickly, even on the best of ideas. And these are hardly great times to be
managing a city budget.

Diana

21 Jul 2009 - 6:16pm
Jarod Tang
2007

Hi Rob,

Maybe "Life between Buildings" and "The Death and Life of Great American
Cities" will be interesting to you, ( both could be found from amazon).

Cheers,
-- Jarod

On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 6:29 PM, Rob Epstein <robinepstein at gmail.com> wrote:

> Has anyone provided UX / usability services to a city or local council,
> regarding:
>
> - Road / sidewalk design and maintenance
> - Road signs - locations, standards, maintenance
> - Navigation signs - to local sites, main roads, points of interest
> - Traffic calming
> - Pedestrian crossings
> - Shared spaces
> - and in general, how to make cities more walkable, safe, and a great
> place to live.
>
> I'd like to hear your experiences, war stories, and how you convinced the
> city that they needed you (or did they "get it" from the start?)
>
> Thanks,
> Rob
>
> ___________________
> Rob Epstein
> UX consultant
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

21 Jul 2009 - 5:50pm
Sean Savage
2009

Rob:

I've been an IxD professional for more than 10 years and an amateur
urban planning geek for many years as well. In grad school I took
some architecture and planning classes to fill out my IxD and overall
tech experience in preparation for working in this area.

It's odd that you bring this up now, because I just engaged in one
of the best IxD / urban planning discussions ever, last week at the
SF UX Book Club, wherein we read and discussed a planning classic and
one of my overall favorite books %u2013 A Pattern Language %u2013 and
how it related to our field of online user experience.

I recommend that you check out that book as well as reading up about
urban planning in general and at least perusing other classic books
in the field. Then seek out and chat with some planners, this will
help you chart your course. The guide here looks like a good start:
http://www.acsp.org/Guide/guide_index.htm

Cheers

Sean Savage
San Francisco

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897

22 Jul 2009 - 1:47am
Pietro Desiato
2008

I know this is more an emotional design example but I think it is a
good example:

"Transmission, by George Walker, is a proposal to insert a
transmitter into the road at the site of each non-motorist
(pedestrians or cyclists) fatality, communicating the name of the
person killed and the number of days since they were hit."

(http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2005/10/there-are-appro.php)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897

22 Jul 2009 - 3:23am
martinpolley
2007

Hi Rob,

Not so much an answer to your question, but instead another interesting
example :)

I don't know if you are familiar with the work of the late Hans Monderman,
but if not, you should definitely take a look at his work. Basically, making
things *seem *more dangerous makes drivers slow down and and so actually
makes things *less *dangerous.

See this Wired article<http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.12/traffic.html>,
the Monderman Wikipedia page <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Monderman>,
and the Wikipedia page about his Shared Space
model<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_space>
.

Cheers,

Martin Polley
Technical writer, interaction designer
+972 52 3864280
Twitter: martinpolley
<http://capcloud.com/>

On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 1:29 PM, Rob Epstein <robinepstein at gmail.com> wrote:

> Has anyone provided UX / usability services to a city or local council,
> regarding:

...

22 Jul 2009 - 6:15am
Christopher Monnier
2009

Speaking of Hans Monderman, he's featured in the book "Traffic" by
Tom Vanderbilt, which is a great and fun to read book that talks a
lot about the human factors of driving. It made me think of how the
lessons of interaction design could be applied to the design of
intersections and roundabouts. After all, isn't any given
intersection essentially just another user interface to be navigated?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897

22 Jul 2009 - 5:29am
James Box
2008

You might be interested in CityID's work:
http://www.cityid.co.uk/

Particularly their Journey PDF:
http://www.cityid.co.uk/Images/City ID journey.pdf

And this follow-up post in Creative Review (Designing a Legible
City):
http://bit.ly/RcKn0

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897

22 Jul 2009 - 7:08am
rob
2005

Hi all,

Great responses!
You've given me lots of resources, books links - will keep me out of trouble
for a while.

No less important, is the way to approach the relevant authorities. Really
important to find the right person who understands and is prepared to
champion the issues (basically: the well-being of the residents).

I see many similarities between urban UX / usability and software
development. But the stakes here can be many times higher, with
life-or-death consequences.

One would expect town planners and similar roles to be well versed in
usability, but as we see in our cities, public transportation and so on,
this is not always so.

Would be happy to hear more, either on or off list.

Rob

On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 7:50 PM, Sean Savage <seansavage at seansavage.com>wrote:

> Rob:
>
> I've been an IxD professional for more than 10 years and an amateur
> urban planning geek for many years as well. In grad school I took
> some architecture and planning classes to fill out my IxD and overall
> tech experience in preparation for working in this area.
>
> It's odd that you bring this up now, because I just engaged in one
> of the best IxD / urban planning discussions ever, last week at the
> SF UX Book Club, wherein we read and discussed a planning classic and
> one of my overall favorite books %u2013 A Pattern Language %u2013 and
> how it related to our field of online user experience.
>
> I recommend that you check out that book as well as reading up about
> urban planning in general and at least perusing other classic books
> in the field. Then seek out and chat with some planners, this will
> help you chart your course. The guide here looks like a good start:
> http://www.acsp.org/Guide/guide_index.htm
>
> Cheers
>
> Sean Savage
> San Francisco
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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22 Jul 2009 - 10:27am
isaacw
2009

Rob,

Checkout this recent post on Adaptive Path's blog. It's regarding a
city planning project where the designers used a "use of concept" to
communicate their idea to their stakeholders.
http://www.adaptivepath.com/blog/2009/07/05/use-of-concept-the-best-proof-of-concept/

Oh and if you're interested, Andrew Duany has a great intro to New
Urbanism in this 9 part YouTube series. Yes it was filmed in the
early 90s, but not much has changed since then. =)
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=NuHerbAndIzm&view=videos

-isaacw

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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22 Jul 2009 - 11:30am
Marc Rettig
2004

Since we're swapping links about improving the experience of cities, I'll
say:
- I'm fond of the Project for Public Spaces: http://www.pps.org/
- One great expression of PPS at work is the Chicago site:
http://www.placemakingchicago.com/
- Might be worth looking at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative for
their "cities growing smaller" perspective: http://www.cudc.kent.edu/

And finally, you HAVE read the front third of Christopher Alexander's "A
Pattern Language," right? <smile> There's gold in there.

More links steadily being collected here:
http://delicious.com/fitassociates/cities

(We're doing our best to put ourselves to work here in Pittsburgh. Stay
tuned.)

- Marc Rettig
- Fit Associates, LLC

22 Jul 2009 - 11:58am
Anthony Hempell
2007

On 22-Jul-09, at 6:08 AM, Rob Epstein wrote:
>
>
> One would expect town planners and similar roles to be well versed in
> usability, but as we see in our cities, public transportation and so
> on,
> this is not always so.
>

I think you'll find planners to be very well-versed in these concepts,
whether or not they share the same vocabulary as UX; they share the
same root motivation which is to make environments better for people
to live, work and play.

The reality of what gets built and how it is maintained, like in all
things, is influenced more by available budget, resources, and
political willpower. Great design won't happen because some town
councillors hire someone who is smart and wants to make a difference.
Getting your ideas implemented will mostly depend on your political
savvy, persistence over the long term and the ability to inspire
others with a vision of what could be.

22 Jul 2009 - 11:03pm
martinpolley
2007

I'd argue that the whole thing is an interface, not just intersections.

For example, did you know that the M4 motorway in the UK was designed not to
have any straight sections? The idea was to force drivers to maintain a
certain level of alertness and activity, to avoid zoning out as they might
on straight roads. (Source: BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed,
22/7/09<http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/ta/ta_20090722-1711a.mp3>
)

Cheers,

Martin Polley
Technical writer, interaction designer
+972 52 3864280
Twitter: martinpolley
<http://capcloud.com/>

On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 8:15 AM, Christopher Monnier <monn0016 at umn.edu>wrote:

> Speaking of Hans Monderman, he's featured in the book "Traffic" by
> Tom Vanderbilt, which is a great and fun to read book that talks a
> lot about the human factors of driving. It made me think of how the
> lessons of interaction design could be applied to the design of
> intersections and roundabouts. After all, isn't any given
> intersection essentially just another user interface to be navigated?
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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>

22 Jul 2009 - 11:49pm
Christopher Monnier
2009

> I'd argue that the whole thing is an interface, not just
intersections.

Indeed. And I'd also add that it's not just about the design of
the driving experience, but also of the entire urban experience
(being a pedestrian, being a cyclist, using public spaces, etc.).
This is sometimes referred to as "placemaking."

What's fascinating about designing the urban experience is that
there are so many different perspectives, many of which can be in
conflict with each other. A simple example is the "need" of a
driver to move from point A to point B as quickly as possible, which
is often in conflict with the need for people to have a safe and
enjoyable pedestrian experience.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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23 Jul 2009 - 12:09am
Katie Albers
2005

The same is true of the Jamaica Way in Boston. Additionally, its curvy
nature was supposed to provide a natural slowing effect. That part
didn't work out quite so well -- it's generally perceived as a great
vehicular slalom course.

Lately, I've also started seeing a lot of research that the more
"traffic control" devices (e.g., a 4-way flashing red light, stop
signs, warning signs AND iconic "danger" signs - don't laugh, there's
one like that down the street from my house) are at any intersection,
the more people seem to relegate them to background noise which
results in more accidents.

kt

Katie Albers
User Experience Consultant & Project Manager
katie at firstthought.com
310 356 7550

On Jul 23, 2009, at 12:03 AM, Martin wrote:

> I'd argue that the whole thing is an interface, not just
> intersections.
>
> For example, did you know that the M4 motorway in the UK was
> designed not to
> have any straight sections? The idea was to force drivers to
> maintain a
> certain level of alertness and activity, to avoid zoning out as they
> might
> on straight roads. (Source: BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed,
> 22/7/09<http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/ta/ta_20090722-1711a.mp3
> >
> )
>
> Cheers,
>
> Martin Polley
> Technical writer, interaction designer
> +972 52 3864280
> Twitter: martinpolley
> <http://capcloud.com/>
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 8:15 AM, Christopher Monnier
> <monn0016 at umn.edu>wrote:
>
>> Speaking of Hans Monderman, he's featured in the book "Traffic" by
>> Tom Vanderbilt, which is a great and fun to read book that talks a
>> lot about the human factors of driving. It made me think of how the
>> lessons of interaction design could be applied to the design of
>> intersections and roundabouts. After all, isn't any given
>> intersection essentially just another user interface to be navigated?
>>
>>
>> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>> Posted from the new ixda.org
>> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

22 Jul 2009 - 11:09pm
jayant
2008

Being new to parametricism i would like to have ideas and guidance for
research in it.
Would be really helpful if i get some ideas and opinions of how to go
ahead with my readings.
I am trying to crack the structure of Alishan Tourist route of Taiwan
through models and scripting and it will be really helpful if i get
some guidance.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=43897

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