Greyhound Station Study
Our task was to investigate a particular space, noting how the design of the environment shaped human behavior, and to devise a method for highlighting the patterns occurring in that space. I worked to understand the mental models that travelers were adhering too and the mental model of whoever designed the station.
Questions I addressed:
How can a designer effectively understand a space through observation?
How does the environment shape human behavior and how does a designer become sensitive to seeing that?
What hierarchy should be utilized in a visual to convey a message?
How the designer likely intended for people to move through the station.
How users actually move through and understand the station.
Zeisel: Inquiry by design
I applied John Zeisel's Inquiry by Design techniques for noticing physical traces of human activity left in the environment, particularly "erosion" and "public messages".
What I learned about the station:
- The restroom is the most popular destination; this should be made more accessible
- The elongated layout renders many utilities (outlets, vending machines, etc.) useless
- Given the dominant beaten path, the benches could be rearranged to encourage socializing
Flow Graphic Process
After animating the dots, I realized that I would need to rethink the hierarchy of the visual as the focus of the design was the accumulated path and dots, not the icons.
What I learned:
How to effectively understand a space through observation
Methods for seeing seemingly invisible patterns of use in a space
Ways to apply hierarchy to visuals in order to reduce noise