UX in public space

Even if you have not been there before, do not speak the language, are nervous, sick or in a hurry, with or without prior knowledge of what to expect. This requires a good and appropriate interaction between the space or the building and its users, in other words well-designed UX in the public space. Fabrique has gained extensive experience and beautiful projects with this.

New design and renovation of the 16 Metro Oostlijn stations in Amsterdam

Hospitals, libraries and museums, campuses, train stations, municipal offices and large corporations; all these locations have very diverse visitors, each with their own background and purpose. These complex environments, often part of a larger journey, should be agreeable for every visitor.

Using UX knowledge in spatial design

We help shape the interaction in public spaces and public buildings in a way that works for the people who are there: relaxing, working, waiting, being cared for, living. And by extension also for other stakeholders. Depending on the context, the design could be functional and efficient, or enriching, inspiring and interactive, or a combination of the two.

We orchestrate the process toward articulating the desired experience of the building. We deliberately use the term UX (user experience) for this purpose, a term from the digital world. We use the knowledge we have gained in the digital domain to develop spatial concepts. In order to arrive at relevant, connecting and sustainable concepts or themes.

The Oostlijn design, by architects Spängberg and Van Rhijn, dates from the 1970s. Over the years, the original concept has been watered down, leaving the Oostlijn unequipped for the future. Fabrique and GROUP A provided the design and remodeling of the underground platforms, passages and entrances of sixteen stations.

Consistency for travelers

Amsterdam Metro Oostlijn

The municipality of Bladel and cultural center Den Herd selected Fabrique, GROUP A and ABT to design the renovation and redevelopment of the former Rabobank building on the Markt square. This central location will see the creation of a new community center for Den Herd with a mix of functions and facilities.

One spatial concept

Huis Den Herd

Meaning and interaction

Making complex environments practicable for a wide range of users is key. Understandable information and wayfinding, apps for visitor support, hosts who inform and help, smart interior design and pleasant furniture, efficient flow; all these things are important and, in many places, there is still a world to be won.

In addition, the art is to make places livable, to give them meaning and to ensure that in our increasingly individualizing society, human interaction does not become redundant. The art of turning a non-place into a place.

Waiting in line to buy a ticket for an Amsterdam bus, tram or metro is a thing of the past. Together with the GVB, we designed more user-friendly ticket machines. The main goal: faster service.

Buy your ticket easily with GVB

GVB Amsterdam ticket vending machine

For Reinier de Graaf we created a concept for the hospital’s children's and youth wings that encourages interaction and movement.

Turning a hospital into a child friendly place

Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis

Methods, knowledge and tools

Complex architectural projects have a wide range of clients and stakeholders. Fabrique specializes in defining the use and experience of public spaces in co-creation with these stakeholders (especially the users). We believe in a knowledge-driven and methodical approach, preferably with an eye toward the future.

Context scan

We examine the context and map out the properties of that context. We do this by observing and interviewing, 1-on-1 or in the form of workshops. We look at likely future developments and define opportunities.

User research

We map out who the (intended) users are. We use service design techniques and methods, such as the customer experience map. We map the user experience over time, identify pain points, and make improvement recommendations for each step the user goes through.


Are you curious to know which approach is best for your project, or do you have a question about applying UX design in a public space? Feel free to contact us to discuss what we can do for you.