March 31, 2010

Design Exercise: bus stop UX

In Dan Saffer's "Designing for Interaction" he lists several real-world opportunities for improvement in UX. One of these examples is "waiting at the bus stop with no idea when the next buss will arrive." Well, as I was waiting at the bus stop, with no idea when my bus was supposed to arrive when I came up with an idea: A bus stop kiosk (obelisk) of sorts. Basically the idea is to replace the current road-side signs and replace them with solar powered towers that notify people how soon their bus should be arriving.

How it would work
As the bus passes each stop on its scheduled run, it sends a geolocation signal the next several stops informing them of the bus's current location. This would pair with data taken on average travel time from stop to stop. The result is a system that can produce meaningful information to passengers.

  • Each bus would need to be equipped with a device that allows digital signaling between stop and bus

  • Each bus stop would need to be equipped with a similar device, and a power source (ideally solar)

The Rules
  • Depending on the distance the bus is to the actual stop, the light matching the bus number will begin to pulse more rapidly on the corresponding panel

  • Any stop the bus passes will reset to a default signal (dim light and very slow pulse)

  • A route which is not in service for that day (or at certain times of the day) would show no light at all at each applicable stop

So maybe the execution isn't perfect, but the idea is there. I took a stab at this challenge in an afternoon: what would you do differently? What did I miss?


Christopher Griego
graphic designer
Austin, TX
portfolio -

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