Rethinking the CTA station signs
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Waiting on public transportation can be something of an exercise in semi-informed frustration.
There are apps and other technologies to alert commuters of arrival times for buses and trains – not least of which are the scroll boards at CTA stations.
But while these do offer usable information, the timeframe for when updates are available and visible can be less than ideal for riders buzzing into and out of stations and platforms.
Ian Hall, an interaction designer at Manifest, has been giving this some thought and has posted an interesting process illustration on Medium into how the signage at CTA stations can offer a more complete glimpse into current travel conditions in the form of a constant scroll of updating arrivals and delays.
Rather than having to wait as the information scroll cycles through until what you need to know – when is the next train arriving? – shows up again, Hall argues that the space available on the existing signs can be put to better, more effective and continual use with information feeds.
Here’s a quick look at an early pass on Hall’s scheme:
Hall points out that this is not a finished effort and is in fact a proof-of-concept – one he’s looking for feedback on:
This prototype does not solve all the signage issues perfectly and while it is only a first pass, I think it takes a big step forward in creating better digital signage. There are many opportunities to build on this first pass, like having the train destinations map to the side of the tracks the train will be arriving on, listing destinations below the train icons, and more.
You can comment on his post or via Twitter with any reaction or ideas that might further the solution – though whether CTA will get onboard Hall’s user experience is anyone’s guess.