In the first part of this blog, we covered the physical attributes of designing the Rush Hour User Experience. In this part, we will cover the human limitations that influenced practical design work.
Human Limitations & Design Implications
The Ebbinghaus Forgetting curve
Ebbinghaus forgetting curve hypothesises the decline of memory retention over time. This curve shows how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it. Ebbinghaus hypothesized that the speed of forgetting depends on a number of factors such as the difficulty of the learned material, its representation and physiological factors such as stress and sleep.
Recalling the Concession Stand
Concession stands are central to servicing the orders. A closer look revealed the role of memory in this hypothesis. Will the user even remember the concession stand s/he chose while placing the order? A classic example of forgetting curve in a real life situation.
Rush-hour moments inherently limit our ability to think rationally. They disengage the pre-frontal cortex, part of the brain that is essential for making good decisions. Our ability to weigh the risks, rewards, and consequences of our actions is negatively impacted. In such a context, how can decision making be expedited?
Perception of Time Pressure in Decision Making
Time pressure can distort how we consider and choose between options. Severe time constraints can make decision processes and individual judgment less objective and more intuitive as more formal and rigorous approaches are ignored.
Choice of Menu
An important aspect in decision making was the menu itself. To minimize the decision making time, the menu at all concession stands was standardized. Same items would be offered from each stand. These stands would sell no more than 8-10 food and drink items.
Choice of Concession Stands
In addition to the menu, another challenge for design was to take into account the 20-25 concession stands located at each level. From a User Experience point of view, what role does a concession stand play in placing an order? While the stands appear to be an important entity on the face, but deliberating about them brought an interesting perspective.
Situational awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or a predetermined event.
Situation awareness about the concession stands
Situational awareness was a critical aspect to factor in our context because of two reasons (a) space, due to the colossal size of the arena and (b) time, placing an order is a mental countdown to the time it is ready for pickup.
Spatial orientation to nearby concession stands
Before users could place the orders, it was important to give them a sense of space around them. They would need to know the nearest concession stands, distance to the stands and their location relative to the stands. We needed a way to build such a spatial map in the users mind.
Navigation to the concession stand
Once the order was ready, the users were notified for a pickup. At this point, the environmental factors like noise, crowd, crammed aisles threw new challenges that made navigating to the concession stand a daunting task. So how could we design an effective navigation for an order pickup?
Based on the physical attributes and limitations of the human mind, we crafted the experience to minimize the customer effort and maximise sales.
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