Map usability for pedestrians is taking on entirely new dimensions. Long the sorry stepchild of car navigation, walkers, cyclists, and transiters are beginning to be served properly. It’s about time too — at roughly one billion units, there are now more smart phones than private autos in service on the planet. Unfortunately, there are also more smart phones in service than living humans who have ever seen a street map in any form, analog or digital. Is map literacy really going to increase at the rate of smart phone adoption? Clearly there are multiple efforts to provide alternatives to the bird’s eye view map, but should vendors focus on increasing the sophistication of the UX via 3D, panoramas, AR, et al, or lower the least-common denominator?
Ellen Dunne, head of product at Lumatic, will provide a guided tour through the company’s extensive user interviews and in situ testing, detailing how humans actually walk down the street: where they look when trying to orient themselves; what visuals are orienting and disorienting; where they feel vulnerable, what’s delightful vs a chore; and where various groups want to make themselves heard in the context of the cityscape.
Ellen Dunne has been leading internet product design and development teams in San Francisco for longer than she cares to admit. She started out heading product design at one of the big online travel companies in the 90’s, ending in a merger with Travelocity. During a five-year hiatus from SF, she did consulting work, lived abroad, and then moved to NY where she taught at Parson’s School of Design.
She was lured back to SF in 2006 by the founders of Dogster and worked there until 2010, leading a massive redesign of the Dogster and Catster sites before their acquisition by Say Media. In May 2011, she joined the team at Lumatic. She is a firm believer in the ‘build, measure, learn’ cycle and other key principles of the Lean UX philosophy, which means she is usually armed with a stack of sticky notes and a Sharpie.
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