Thursday, May 24, 2012

Show us the better way at Spadina station

Here is the unabridged version of my Grid idea to improve Toronto, which I titled “Toronto sUXs.”

The morning commute via the southbound Spadina streetcar is a terrible user experience (UX for short). It doesn’t have to be.

Inside the Spadina subway station, three long snaking lines of people waiting for southbound streetcars block the flow of transit commuters exiting northbound cars. A few hundred dollars in vinyl floor signage could indicate the optimal line-up configuration so people don’t have to guess. Built into this signage would be strategic gaps where perpendicular commuter traffic could pass through the line. Currently people have to poke their way through the fence of people between them and the subway stairs. That sUXs.

This is not rocket science – just a bit of design thinking. Step One: Observe how people actually use Spadina station. Step Two: Offer a solution that respects natural human instincts. Design thinking doesn’t have to involve visionary, Bruce Mau fantasies of iStreetcars powered by unicorn laughter. UX does the most good when it invisibly solves the major problems that people face on a daily basis.