CLIENT: Ventra (Hypothetical)
Instructors: Tomoko Ichikawa and Jody Campbell
Overview
Brief
Many public transit riders in Chicago pay fares using the city’s Ventra Card system, but the existing Ventra kiosk design lacks visual hierarchy and clarity. For a communication design course project, I was tasked with designing a new kiosk faceplate.
Project Phases
Process & Outcomes
Discover
Given the project’s short 3-week timeframe, much of our inquiry consisted of guerilla research. I spent a few hours in train stations with two other students, conducting interviews and observations with both riders and employees.
INITIAL Finding #1: "People don't read."
As observed by one CTA employee, riders usually ignore the dense instructions printed on the kiosks.
INITIAL Finding #2: Experience matters.
Experienced riders practically had their button presses memorized. New riders read each screen carefully.
Define
As a class, we pooled our findings and formulated key insights through affinity mapping. We used the 5E framework to investigate the entire rider experience, both before and after using the kiosk.
Photo Credit: Jody Campbell
Photo Credit: Jody Campbell
Photo Credit: Jody Campbell
Photo Credit: Jody Campbell
Photo Credit: Jody Campbell
Photo Credit: Jody Campbell
Photo Credit: Jody Campbell
Photo Credit: Jody Campbell
Photo Credit: Jody Campbell
Photo Credit: Jody Campbell
Through our workshop, we identified two key issues a faceplate change could solve:
Issue #1: Unclear Process
The current kiosk design makes it difficult to understand the "order of operations" necessary to pay your fare.
Issue #2: Information Overload
The overall density of the existing instructions makes them difficult to scan, causing riders to skip them altogether.
Develop
Side-by-side (My redesign is on the right.)
Original design
Original design
My redesign
My redesign
Main revision points
Reflection
LEARNING #1: Designing for Public Spaces
Public fixtures like the Ventra kiosks serve a variety of different users from incredibly diverse backgrounds. Though public designs must serve as many of these people as possible, mindful trade-offs are almost always necessary.
LEARNING #2: Retrofitting
The well-defined briefs of design school don’t always reflect the realities of design practice. Working within the constraints of the current kiosk hardware was often challenging, especially without sacrificing usability.
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