Design Team Creates User-Friendly Bus Stops


Usability Day Challenge Team Addresses Commuter Concerns

CARY, N.C. (December 30, 2008) - HumanCentric (www.humancentric.com), an integrated product design and development company, partnered with BlueStripe Software and Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T) in addressing the 2008 World Usability Day Global Transportation Challenge. The multidisciplinary team created user-friendly bus stop design concepts that were presented at the Triangle Usability Professionals Association's (Tri-UPA) World Usability Day event.

The challenge asked teams to look at how people interact with various modes of transportation. Andrew Wirtanen, human factors specialist and challenge team lead said: "I have always had an interest in improving the usability of commuter systems. This was a great opportunity to work with a diverse team to explore new design solutions." Wirtanen was also part of the HumanCentric team that developed the Cycle Spot bike rack design in response to NYC's CityRacks 2008 Competition (nycityracks.wordpress.com).

Wirtanen's Global Transportation Challenge team looked locally for inspiration and noticed that the primary mass transit system for the Research Triangle Park area is a set of interconnected bus systems. Although the system's hubs and stations were identifiable and offered commuters time and route information, the intermediate stops had markers with very limited information. In addition, bus stops were lost amid other street signs, making them difficult to locate.

"After brainstorming, conducting research and sketching, the team developed three final bus stop designs," added Wirtanen. He shared the process, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each design, in a presentation to local usability and transportation specialists during Tri-UPA's World Usability Day celebration.

The three designs: The Triangle, Skinny and E Ink, offer a range of functions, costs and styles to address the needs and budgets of bus systems worldwide.

About HumanCentric:
HumanCentric is an integrated product design firm headquartered in Cary, North Carolina with a foundation based on the commitment to make user-friendly products by studying and understanding the end user. HumanCentric leverages Human Factors, Design Research, Industrial Design, Graphic and Interaction Design and Design Engineering to simplify and enhance user experiences. Human Centric is headquartered in Cary, N.C. with a regional office in Chicago. Visit www.humancentric.com.

About The Global Transportation Challenge:
Usability in transportation speaks to the interaction of people and the vehicles, the challenges and issues, as well as infrastructure and modes for moving around in our environment. We spend time repeatedly, everyday getting our things and ourselves from point A to point B. It varies by day, by location, by time and by need and requires us to utilize many forms of transport. World Usability Day 2008 is focused on exploring and creating awareness for several aspects of transportation:
How has transportation impacted our culture and society? What are the opportunities and constraints for our society?
How do humans interact with the following aspects of transportation:
Modes - automobiles, planes, trains and subways, boats, trucks, busses, bikes, animals, and more.
Infrastructure - roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, and more.
Technologies and resources supporting transportation - online travel advisory and ticketing, maps and more.
Security
Signage
How do the modes interact with each other?
How do transportation modes and issues impact our environment? How can being green improve usability of transportation?
How have accessibility issues and challenges been addressed by transportation?

For more information visit: www.worldusabilityday.org.

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