Learn how to design perfect public (transport) information systems, using psychology of perception, language, learning and thinking. Put aside for one moment: experience, usable, design, intuitive, look and feel, marketing, personal opinions and technology. Focus on: requirements, direct application using hundreds of simple and known interfaces, evaluation of common sense and... opinions, problems and interfaces of participants.
In general, interface design is a rather practical profession. "Just tell me what to do." Guidelines, norms and standards are tools frequently asked for. Real experts know that won't work. Many problems have been solved using common sense and trial and error. But you cannot find a cure for a serious illness using only common sense and trial and error. For interface design this was proven in 'Why designers can't understand their users'.
Can a course based on science be practical? Yes, it can. A theory is valid only when you can test it. Usually that is done using 'test items' for experiments. However, you can also make theory concrete using requirements and design solutions. Secondly, hundreds of interfaces are shown that are straightforward compatible or incompatible with the theory.
The theory is applied to communicate: When is?, What is?, Where is?.
At, for, in, of, or on: Emergency situations. Machines: elevator, gates, vending. Spaces: amusement park, hotels, malls, parkings, restaurants, stops, street, transport terminal. Transport vehicles: leisure, own cars, pedestrians, public, taxis. Time: now, of departure, to departure, opening hours.
Using: Electronics media: Internet, lcd, led, screen or whatever. Static Boards: indicators, posters. Paper: books, posters. Signs, graphics and text: arrows, directories, maps, pictograms, You are here indications.
Resulting in systems that are: memorisable, notable, readable and understandable for users. In most cases they are cheaper than usual systems as well.
Some interfaces were specially designed for this course. These examples are theoretical, they show the application of psychology without account to other considerations and it takes a few seconds to understand the principles.
Visible environment Size of elements Readability Line of sight Irradiation Blinds Conspicuity Next bus to depart Next train to depart Entry in a list Don’t use a large size for:
Form of elements Identification and readability Numbers Time: … now … of departure … opening hours Font case Road and public line identification Reflecting surfaces Irradiating signs Form and pictures not for …
Luminance of elements Identification and readability Minimal luminance Maximal luminance Gradual luminance change … … switching on light … entering a dark space Luminance not for …
Colour of elements Readability Chromatic induction High sensitive colours Colour defects Selecting colours Colour and luminance Colour vision defects … … auditive communication … tactile communication ConspicuityColour for no attention Yellow for attention shortly Orange for attention now! Red for game over Understanding Colour not for … … quantity … … price … time, queuing … delays … way finding … identification
Contrast of elements Identification and readability Assimilation Minimal contrast Conspicuity Information to be recalled Unexpected information Contrast not … … change foreground … use of foreground and background … for expected information … for trains … in emergency signs… in a logo Presentation of elements Identification and readability Running text Changing text Conspicuity Dynamic presentation not for …
7. 7.1 7.1.1 7.1.2 7.1.3 7.1.4 7.1.5 7.1.6 7.1.7
8. 8.1 8.1.1 8.1.2 8.1.3 8.1.4 8.1.5 8.1.6 8.2
(Too) much to see Crowdedness Double functions Multi language signs Bus indicator Map LogoShow off new technology Showing technology
Structuring the visual environment Structuring … … tables … times of closure … maps … maps with numbered knot … maps, three dimensional … public transport spaces … shopping mall … chaos Structures not to use …
Part II: 11 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4
12 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.3.1
Text in the environment Too much text Signs Ads News Legal information
Structure in language Combining words, e.g. in sentences Combining graphical elements Combining elements
Familiarizing the environment Too much to remember Memory load Numbers and codes and codes Non distinctive elements
Familiarity Enhancing familiarity Naming elements … … international words … motor way exits … taxi companies … public transport companies International words … … for ring roads Abbreviations … … on public transport indicators
Part IV: 16. 16.1 16.1.1
16.2 16.1.1 16.2.1 16.2.2 16.3 16.3.1
17. 17.1 17.1.1
18. 18.1 18.1.1
Understanding environment Reduction of mental load Calculating environment Calculation of time … … to departure … for pause, walk or run Calculations from … … passenger’s point of view … no platform numbers … current temperature … free car park spaces Decide for the user … … direction to go … car park to go … Tom Tom versus map … one button, two decisions Reliability of environment Schedule Time of departure Price Invisible environment Differences between humans … … no differences … not for all … ’Not for you’ … handicapped only … emergency … assembling point … emergency exit … emergency exit only Differences in transport technology Difference in place, ’You are here’ on … … maps … taps … motor ways … railways … bicycle ways … arrows Interacting environment
Clear concepts Understanding Icons for … direction to go, arrows … ring road … ring road you are here … ring road direction … counting down Unveiling the invisible environment Controlling … … crowdedness … price … energy Showing x-nesses
Navigation One dimensional: rows, lists and lines Task based structures … … touch screen vending machines … buttons vending machines, article… buttons vending machines, quiz … frame button screen interfaces … platforms … public transport indicators … listing motor way destinations … naming concentric ring roads Database based structures Infra structural structures… … front and rear of the train … several languages … directions or destinations Two dimensional: maps, spaces and tables Tables for … … open and closed … time of departure Lay out of physical elements … maps versus lists … old cities versus new cities … platforms
Part V: 20. 20.1
21. 21.1 21.2 21.3
Multi level spaces Three dimensional maps … for complex buildings … for ski maps Underground structures Invisible structures
Interdisciplinary discrepancies Technology and environmental psychology Discrepancies in form of elements … … pictogram for parking place … public transport indicator Discrepancies in wording … … ratax … public transport indicators Discrepancies in content
Marketing and environmental psychology Discrepancies in form Discrepancies in wording Discrepancies in content
Aesthetics and art Discrepancies in form Discrepancies in content
Psychology and environment What is a man? What is an environment? What is task of man in environment? Search Identify Recall Understand Control and attract attention Control and investigate eye movements
The program mentioned above is used when there is no input from participants. A disadvantage of taking the input of the participants is that at first sight the program becomes chaotic. However, from the participants point of view, chaotic it will be any way. Psychology as starting point is unusual and therefore, for most participants chaotic. In addition, learning is changing into a new situation, and one has to get used to the new situation. There is a very strong and reliable compass. There are five main roads only: human movement, perception, language, memory and thinking.
A topic starts with an introduction (common knowledge, anecdote, problem an attendee brings in). Psychological knowledge relevant for that topic is presented briefly. A short experiment, with the attendees as subjects, may be conducted. Then application using, design practice of the author and, preferably designs of the attendees.
Psychological knowledge presented is not complicated. The most important requirement for participants is open mindedness and a desire for insight. All knowledge immediately is applied in concrete examples showing how to and how not to. Design aesthetics is important in design, however this course and many of the examples presented are designless
These requirements for attendees are more important than their background or roles in the design process. These roles might be management, design and evaluation of: public spaces, public information systems, public transport information, tourist information systems.
The main goal of the course is to provide the attendees with psychological information and methodology they can use in creating and evaluating design solutions
The problem is not the complexity of this knowledge but open-mindedness for this unusual approach. The approach is not learning to apply guidelines but insight to estimate the psychological benefits and costs.
The trainer is dr. Leonard Verhoef He developed from a psychologist investigating human thinking to a psychological designer of ultimate interfaces that are used now and that will be used in the future.