So have you ever drove down a busy street, saw the most confusing sign in the world in which you couldn’t understand it. The example below shows how a parkings sign can be confusing.
When driving down a road, you have to keep the in check other people driving, looking at both the road and the sign in which can make you lose focus in your surroundings. In this blog, I will talk about my experience in redesigning a parking sign and my idea of using both lights and holograms by using the design process.
The objective of the design was to create a new, and easier way of understanding a parking sign. My group brainstormed and came up with a couple of ideas on how to fix this confusing problems. We used the “How Might We” exercise and came up with these three statements:
- How might we take out excess information?
- How might we condense information?
- How might we make it easy and fast to read?
The experience of looking for a parking spot in the city, is nerve-wreaking in which you have to slow-down when going by a sign, to try and understand how it works, then you have to both look around the street, and focus on your surroundings to make sure you can find a parking spot and don’t get into an accident. You also have to make sure that if you have a meeting or if you are meeting with your friends then you have to try and find a spot before the meeting time. Also, it can cause you unnecessary panicking if you run late to a meeting because you couldn’t find a parking spot, or getting a parking ticket. Also, trying to park in the city takes skill, in making sure you are proficient in parallel parkings, and not hitting any cars when parking.
The experiences that helped me tackle this project was that I never loved parking in the city, and even in my hometown it was mind numbing trying to park somewhere downtown and to make sure that you understood parking sign so you don’t get a ticket. So, I wanted to make sure that for future drivers that it was easier and quicker to understand a parking sign so they don’t get confused and turned around when trying to understand a parking sign.
For the ideation process, in our brainstorming group, we did another exercise called “Crazy Eight Sketches” in which every person in the group, created 8 sketches, and we only had one minute to create them. The “Crazy Eight Sketches” help us jot down ideas, and to not get stuck on one idea.
The one idea that I refined and was one of my best ideas was the top left corner, in which shows lights to see how where parking is available. The lights were my best idea because it is easier for drivers to understand that they can park there without having to confuse themselves by trying to understand a confusing parking sign.
The refined sketch/idea was the best one since it clearly helped the drivers understand that they can park at a spot, or can’t park in the spot, and also if the person is colorblind then the holograms help clear up any confusion a driver might have.
A prototype is the first model of an idea usually created in a design program or created with paper to convey an idea. A prototype help designers because they give something real to the testers to give their input and a chance to make improvements from the first version. I settled on the idea for my prototype because it had the most chance to be improved, and in my mind, it was easier for the drivers to understand where to park, and the parking sign. I made the prototype by using Adobe Photoshop to create a realistic prototype with lights and holograms, and the sign using Adobe Illustrator to give a basic parking sign prototype. I made the prototype this way since I really couldn’t make it out of paper, and it gave my prototype an easier way of making future improvements.
The way I test my prototype was to give individual interview each of my testers and gather their responses. The testers were people that had a license so they can legally drive. Some of the questions that I had asked were:
- If you were trying to park right now, would you be able to park here?
- If you looking for a parking spot on Saturday at 8 pm, could you park here?
- On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, how well is my idea designed? Why?
- What could be improved about the sign/experience?
The responses that the testers had were eye-openings and helped gather knowledge of how to improve my design.
Based on the responses that I have gotten from my testers, I would change my design so the lights are in a more appropriate level for drivers, and use LEDs which are brighter so that they can grab the driver’s attention. Also, ensure that the lights can be seen so drivers know where to park, and to use a system so drivers know how long they can park there, and an app so drivers know when the spot changes from a parking spot to a non-parking spot and vice-versa.
In conclusion, I had fun redesign and creating a new system in which drivers can use lights to know where to park and that it will be easier for them to know where to park. I learned that a prototype is really useful in making sure that your testers can understand your idea, and that the responses from the testers are useful in improving and make sure that my design gets better from the pervious version.