We expect more from our environment, especially in public and semi-public places. Whether it’s regarding self-service, real-time personal information, avoiding waiting times or uncompromising aesthetics. The challenge of designing these kinds of user experiences is getting more intense, and it cries out for an interdisciplinary approach. We call that approach UX in public space.
How do you put user experience first? It all starts with a vision. What does the desired experience look like? How about the role that the design will soon play? Increasingly, we see that various stakeholders are involved in the design processes. Coming to a single vision helps us to create a clear point on the horizon, and contributes to a shared idea about where the vision needs to go. It provides direction and helps to supports clear communication. Read more about this on our Design research page.
UX in public space
The vision is clear, what comes next? It may come as a surprise, but it seems that the best way to create usable multi-functional public spaces, is to first master designing complex interactions for small screens. Because of their experience with complex interfaces, UX designers can oversee complex processes quickly and restructure as needed.
By focusing on the user experience, it’s possible to reach an integrated approach to the problem quicker. Typically, our UX designers are also trained in industrial design. They’re used to doing user research and testing, so they quickly stockpile knowledge to develop the design further. Conceptually, this approach creates other solutions. Like our project for integrated e-gates at Schiphol.
Metro and Giant
We have vast experience in developing visions for projects in public spaces. Good examples of UX in public spaces are the concepts of the Giant brand stores and the renovation of sixteen of the East Line Amsterdam Metro stations. In both cases the desired experience marked the starting point of the design process. The technical program requirements weren’t leading in the design process, rather, the goal we had in mind for the particular space.
We worked together with the architects of GroupA to develop the vision for the renovation of the East Line Amsterdam Metro stations. The focus was on creating a better flow for the metro travellers, including reducing the clutter. Construction of the first stations began in the spring of 2016.
The Giant stores bring brand, product range and cycling enthusiasts together. At 'Repair & go', your bicycle gets worked on while you enjoy a cup of coffee. The bikes in the store stand on well-lit catwalks. Clothing and accessories can be found in showcases and on 'desire tables'. Buying a bicycle becomes an experience.
A special place is occupied by interactive installations and columns in the public spaces. Read more about this on our Interactives page.
Would you like to know more about spatial design?
Please contact Jeroen.
Or take a look at a selection of our projects concerning spatial design in our portfolio.