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Signs that you might need to re-design (pun-intended)

Who like parking structures? Who savors the process of getting a ticket, having to remember to pay,  and trying to find the one machine on the whole level? 

Well I certainty don't, and if part of UX is to increase the joy of users, I will be praying that UX Fairy-godmother visits this garage in Downtown SD. It was curious that the building decided (perhaps after installing the pay machines) to put up the signs indicating the cost of parking. By the time you are at the machine, required to pay, the information is a bit late. 

The real design flaw of the machine was indicated by the fact that there was a woman hired to assist people in using the machine. That was her job. All Day. The fact that the machine need human assistance (or rather other humans needed human assistance) in order to pay for a parking pass, was incredible to me. 

Before I even got to following the directions, the woman came to assist me pressing several of the blue buttons before I even got a chance to fail at paying for my ticket. I guess it was just cheaper to hire someone than to replace the machine...that's why we do heuristic evaluations. 

Kristi ChoiComment