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'New York Times Magazine' on Citi Bike Kiosk Redesign by SVA Students

From The New York Times Magazine: “...As an example in miniature of how the redesign is supposed to work, consider New York’s bike-share program. In 2014, Dani Simons, then the director of marketing for Citi Bike, visited a School of Visual Arts interaction-design class and presented it with a problem to solve. Citi Bike was selling plenty of annual memberships, but it was failing to attract enough 'casual' riders, the sorts of one-off users who might rent a bike for just a day or a week. The class went into the field, observing and interviewing people at Citi Bike stations, and at their final meeting, the students presented Simons with their findings—and potential solutions.

Simons was so impressed that she signed two students, Amy Wu and Luke Stern, to a three-month contract that summer. The two of them soon zeroed in on a particularly thorny design problem: the big, instructional decal on Citi Bike’s kiosks. Annual members used a key fob and had no reason to interact with the decal, but it was the gateway for casual users. Consisting mostly of text, the decals were dense and off-putting, especially to tourists uncomfortable with English. Some failed to understand that they were supposed to type in a code from a printed receipt to unlock a bike; instead, they tried to figure out how to insert the receipt itself into a slot on the docking station.

There was another, more prosaic reason that Stern and Wu focused on the decal…” (continue reading)

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