Simplifying the Paid Parking Experience
Improving the User Experience of a
Chicago Parking Meter
Users both new and experienced to paying to park in the city go through the frustrating ordeal of figuring out where to start and what to expect when interacting with a parking meter. This occurs due to a cluttered layout of instructions and points of interaction as well as an overall poor mechanical design of the kiosk.
With this project, I tackled the challenge of improving the user experience of a parking meter with the constraint of maintaining the mechanical design and electrical layout.
Intro to Communication Design I, IIT Institute of Design, Fall 2017
Finding the closest meter to a spot is difficult enough. Users must also understand the parking conditions but miss important rules lost in the cluttered layout.
Users struggle often press the wrong button due to the poor layout, delaying their process and increasing frustration. "I have to calculate in my mind how much money to put in to how much time I need."
Users struggle with paying due to poor signaling of the card or coin slots. They also often forget to collect the parking receipt which must be placed on the car dash.
Strategy for UX
Create a visual flow of user interaction that adapts to the layout of the kiosk.
Highlight important parking conditions by drawing attention to icons.
Use color dimensioning as a hierarchy system to indicate sequence of instructions (reinforced by numbers to accommodate visual accessibility).
Visually draw attention to critical points of physical interaction e.g. payment inserts and receipt port.