Seeing some sense in signs

For a long time I silently complained - mostly because I'm too lazy to complain in the real world - about the poor design of the information stickers on Sydney Trains.

The somewhat confusing information panel we used to see on Sydney trains

The somewhat confusing information panel we used to see on Sydney trains

I had several issues with this. Firstly, from an Information Architecture perspective, it's all mixed up. You have warnings (Don't smoke, fines apply) then information (Police might be on this train) then more warnings. All mixed. And then you have a confusion of interface display. Don't smoke fines apply is a warning, in red. But You must have a valid ticket, fines apply appears in blue, a completely different format even though it's the same thing.

And then, one day, someone finally got around to fixing it. I can't find a current image of the new panel, and yet again I'm too lazy to go find one, but the new panel is correctly structured, cleaner and far easier to understand. A win for signs!

Yesterday someone sent me yet another win for common sense and good UX design. But first, let's take a look at the existing sign, and see if we can see any issues:

So, are you safe to park or not..?

So, are you safe to park or not..?

If you're like me, then more than once or twice you've stuttered to a stop in front of a parking space, and desperately tried to work out whether it was safe to park or not. What day of the week is it? Have the clocks gone back? Is it a full moon? Bah who knows! By this time the driver of the white van behind you is trying to exit the vehicle through the horn, so you screech off and keep looking.

So, when I saw this example online, I clapped:

Yes - yes, it IS safe to park!

Yes - yes, it IS safe to park!

Common sense and good design do win the day sometimes - now, if only they'd take this up in Sydney....

 

Gary Bunker

the Fore