CLIENT: Ventra (Hypothetical)
Instructors: Tomoko Ichikawa and Jody Campbell
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
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, observing and intercepting 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.
As a class, we pooled our findings and formulated key insights through affinity mapping. We used the 5 E's framework to investigate the entire rider experience, both before and after using the kiosk.
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.
Side-by-side (My redesign is on the right.)
Original design
Original design
My redesign
My redesign
Main revision points
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