Traveling is always a great opportunity to discover and engage new designs. When we’re in unfamiliar settings we often notice the subtleties of our environments more, and are quicker to spot differences between neighborhoods, cities, or countries.
With pictures taken from my trusty camera phone, I’ll try to share as many observations from my travels where design issues effect me first hand. Some of the best design insights come out of this kind of field observation. Not in a lab or formal setting, not from a human factors specialist or usability researcher, but just from us, as users of the world.
Take this case for example, on the first leg of a recent journey of mine across the country. Notice the head-sign “6″ repeating into the distance outside of the Arrivals pickup area at LAX airport. Now try telling your ride to meet you under “6,” the only landmark you can see. I did, and was finally picked up on my rides’ third loop around the airport. Here’s a great case for salience, for differentiation from the surrounding signs. A better design could have been as simple as unique #’s or letter pairings with each #. All in all a minor frustration, but one that could have been avoided. For the record, the weather down in LA was great.