The University of Kentucky Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments

Redesigning the User Experience in Public Transportation

Students are applying their studies to real world problems by focusing on creating an easier to use overall system for the Lexington public transportation system, LexTran. Melody Carswell, Associate Director of the Vis Center, is giving graduate students from the Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Instructional Design departments the opportunity to apply usability and human factors engineering in a real world setting. During the spring semester “Senior Capstone” course in psychology, Dr. Carswell is having students coordinate efforts to work on the usability issues surrounding a large-scale public service — LexTran.

In cooperation with LexTran management, they have been observing and evaluating the customer experience, including common errors and frustrations associated with system use. Students are designing mock-ups of possible solutions to signage and display issues. The students’ projects are focused on developing a more easily communicated “overall model” for system operation, redesigning information at the downtown Transit Center, redesigning the web site for greater usability and applying new technologies and techniques to help riders keep track of the where they while using the system.

The class will be sharing project results and presenting the ideas to LexTran officials at the end of April.

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