Third Avenue is Seattle's most heavily used bus corridor, with over 2,500 buses and 42,000 riders arriving and departing daily via 4 blocks in Seattle's already dense downtown. Through our discovery research for the Third Avenue corridor, we found that for many users this orchestration of activity is often confusing and disconnected. Our challenge was to create a community oriented transit kiosk to aid customers and provide an informed and connected experience for riders.
Clients & Collaborators
City of Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Metro Bus, KPG Engineering, Framework
Research & Analysis
We conducted initial research with transit riders, operators, and stakeholders through field observations, contextual interviews, email surveys, and time-lapse photo analysis. Particular attention was paid to the information needs of transit riders before and after using transit and how they currently getting this information.
Initial Kiosk Concept Working Sessions
Insights from discovery research were presented during a facilitated co-creation session with project stakeholders and the design team. Designers, researchers, and stakeholders were divided into mixed-discipline teams and given 6 hours to create working prototypes. These quick kiosk concepts were then tested the very same day with transit riders recruited from Third Avenue. This insight was then used to align the teams around a single kiosk concept.
Interaction Design, Functional Prototype, and In-Field Usability Evaluations
An updated functional prototype was quickly designed and prototyped using findings from previous concept tests. This prototype was then tested in the field using a tablet integrated into a foam core physical prototype. Actual transit riders were used as participants, and provided with a free transit card for their participations. This prototype was tested in a variety of locations throughout the 3rd avenue corridor, and at different times and days of the week to ensure feasibility in different transit contexts. Findings from this study were then integrated into a final wireframe document for development partners.
The Third Avenue kiosk will be implemented in phases over the course of the next few years with funding allocations for the corridor project. Phase 1 of the kiosk (see below, photos from SDOT) includes the most crucial component for transit riders: next bus transit information and a pay system. These kiosks will be integrated into the head of each bus stop to denote the beginning of the onboarding queue. The next phase will include community wayfinding features like nearby attractions and “get to know your driver”.