Parts of an Engine Kiosk

Mitt Patel
4 min readMar 20, 2021

Introduction

The steam train was the foundation of the Industrial Revolution, and I have always loved to imagine how it was to be a conductor of a train. One of my favorite Christmas movies was “The Polar Express,” which was mainly because of where the movie/characters were on a train. This project's overall scope was to allow users to learn about the parts of the steam engine, and I wanted to allow users to click and drag parts onto a train so that the kiosk would have a greater impact on the user. This project's target group was kids in the age group of 8–14 years old but was open to anyone who wanted to learn about steam engine trains. This post will show the data that I have gathered from my user testing, and the scenario that I chose was just normal people(of various ages) that were in a train museum, which I instructed them to give their thoughts about kiosk, their interactions, and what to improve upon.

Users:

  • First User- Kishan, Male, Pharmacist
  • Second User- Megan, Female, Student
  • Third User- Miten, Male, Engineer
  • Fourth User- Cassidy, Female, Student
  • Fifth User- Joshua, Male, Student

When I am looking for feedback on any of my designs, animations, or even drawings, then I always try and have a mixture between both family and friends as a user/audience. I have both family and friends as a feedback group because they offer unsolicited truth, which helps me think of new solutions when redesigning a project. I also chose these people since their feedback may give me some insight into different design choices or give me a fresh pair of eyes and ideas about making my design more impactful. I chose people of various ages so that I could get a lot of different perspectives.

Insights:

User testing is vital for interactive applications and regular design since it can help the designer think of new ideas. Designers, when they are creating something, make assumptions about their design and its message, so having people give feedback or information about the design can allow a new perspective to be formed in the designer’s mind. Some insights that I gained from having a new perspective is that:

  1. Increasing the font-size of the information box can allow users to read the info of the specific parts of the steam engine without them straining my eyes.
  2. Change the background from white to some image design of a train station, so it feels more in place with the design than floating in a white space.
  3. Making the train image smaller makes multiple infoboxes connect with specific train parts, so the user can read the different parts without having to refresh the entire page.
  4. Add a refresh button when the “Did you know?” section pops up, so the overall experience of using the kiosk is smoother.
  5. Making the “fun fact” section bigger and more impactful may move the section away from the infobox and let it have its own place in the design. Allowing the “fun fact” section to be moved on the left side of the train allows the section to have its own place in the world.

Redesign of the Kiosk:

For the kiosk redesign, by writing down the feedback I have gotten from my user testing group, I know what I need to change when redoing this project. The first issue that I want to change is the font size since the entire point of the kiosk helps users learn about parts of a steam train, but if users strain to read the information, they will be displeased with the kiosk itself. The second issue that I want to change is the train's details, solid red 2D design, making the entire kiosk seem unprofessional and incomplete. The third issue is that I want to change is making the info box smaller and having multiple boxes, so whenever a part is added onto the train, the info is shown up. Since the infobox doesn’t disappear, users cannot refresh the page and reread a previous part. The fourth part that I want to change is adding a name section underneath the part’s bar, so users can read the part's name without adding the part on the train to get its name. The final part that I want to redesign is to change the color of silhouette parts of the train, by changing it from an outline, to something of an opacity part so that it is barely visible, so users can quickly connect the dots. So I feel like these changes will really help impact the audience’s interaction with this kiosk and why feedback is needed in the design process.

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Mitt Patel

Hello, my name is Mitt Patel. I am amateur designer. I love to play video games. Also, love to travel, and I have been to California, India, Mexico, and etc.