Visitors Interaction with a City

Posted: August 21st, 2007 | No Comments »

Ticket machines are often the first systems tourists must interact with when they arrive in a city. They are the first interface of the city. They give that first impression of how much a visitors is expected and welcomed. Yet, some cities still fail at providing decent interfaces for tourist to get around. The Norwegian newspaper published an article on the tourists struggle with local transport in Oslo. Contrary to the content of the article, the problem does necessarily come from the language, but also on the design of the overall system such as providing spatial clues (e.g. map) of the transportation network in space or matching the name of the main stations/stops with designations collected from the surrounding attractions.

Nicolas gave examples on the bad design of Lausanne ticket machines and the better tentative in Geneva.

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Ticket machines in Lausanne (left), Geneva (right). Photos courtesy of Nicolas Nova.

Relation to my thesis: One of my current project deals with enhancing the tourist experience of the city. There is a lot to learn form the confusion of tourist interacting with current systems to use a city infrastructure. It could prevent producing similar errors in the design mobile location-aware application.