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Greyhound

How does the design of a space influence human behavior and how can the patterns occurring in that space be highlighted?

This flow diagram tracks roughly a dozen peoples' movements within the Greyhound Station as well as the total number of people in the station from 5:45pm to 7:30pm on a Friday evening. I examined human interactions and evidence of past interactions with the space as well, noting how the environment afforded certain behaviors.

Intended User Flow

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Ticket Station

Ask travel questions and pick up tickets.

 

The majority of people walked past the ticket station as printing out online tickets is a fairly easy process. The line never filled to half capacity.


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Seating

Find a seat and stay there until the bus comes.

 

Most of the Greyhound experience in the station is comprised of sitting and waiting, but the seats don't seem to afford sitting for what often becomes a multi-hour wait due to delays. People often pace around the station while waiting.


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Back Part of Station (Seating)

Find a seat and stay there until the bus comes.

 

Despite featuring a charging station and relative privacy, this area experiences minimal traffic. However, there are no seats by the charging station and the seats at the back part of the station are furthest from the station entrance.


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Arcade

Pass time playing arcade games.

 

No one uses these. The buttons and areas for coins show little wear and the majority of younger children at the station are playing games on smart phones or tablets.


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Lining Up

Line up by the door when an announcement is made.

 

People feel the need to mark their spot in line with their luggage, as the system for determining boarding order involves verbal interaction with other travelers. This is likely due to the lack of specific signage denoting what order travelers should be in.

 

 

 

Actual User Flow

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Restroom

The restroom was the most popular destination, and often the first location for people entering the station. People would also often visit the station for the sole reason of using the restroom.

 

 


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Charging Station

The seats nearby the power outlets were almost always occupied, whereas the power outlets at the back part of the station with no seating nearby were rarely used. The charging station was the first location for people to check for available seats.

 

 

 

Process

Inquiry by Design

I applied John Zeisel's Inquiry by Design techniques for noticing physical traces of human activity left in the environment, specifically "erosion", signs of human use which erode the environment. This was helpful for confirming my suspicion that the back part of the station was far less traveled.

Time Lapse

The primary insights from the time lapse that I set up was that most people didn't stay stationary and many people used the station for just the restroom. Watching the same people walk past the camera was evidence for my first observation; seeing someone walk past the camera, then permanently leave several minutes later was evidence for the second.

Notes

These are the actual notes I took to track where and when people were moving throughout the station.