aejrogota asked:

You commute by the Soto exit too???

Not daily. But my old man works just off that exit. So whenever he needs a ride on Fridays, I cruise on by there. =)




Upon entering the station, there was a group of tourists hunched over the kiosk with confused looks on their faces. They were trying to insert a dollar bill and the machine kept spitting it back out. When they tried using coins instead, they would just fall out of the bottom drawer. Eventually, they gave up on that kiosk completely and walked away from it to try another one.

I took a closer look at the kiosk to try to understand what may have been confusing the tourists. The keypads are ineffective, as they can easily get stuck. The options for card selection were per dollar amount, instead of per ride. Having taken the metro in Europe before, I understand why a foreigner would find this concept confusing. 

As a train approached the station and commuters exited the train and went through the turnslides, commuters trying pass through the turnslides to get on the train were blocked, therefore missing their train. 

There was nothing inside of the station that indicated whether the train is on time, delayed, or suspended. There were only Planned Service Change panels that were heavily worded and confusing. Since there is also no indication of train status outside of the station, one could easily swipe their card at the turnslide only to discover that their train is in fact delayed.

I also noticed some Help Points and Customer Assistance Intercoms with no indication as to what their purpose was. Were these for an emergency? Can I use it if my card isn’t working? What problem do they solve exactly?


  • convert keypad to touchscreen
  • status displays inside & outside of the station

like in airports

  • customer assistance & help point with signifiers that describe their function
  • pay-per-ride instead of pay-per-dollar amount
  • metro app with: train status, card refill, customer assistance button for emergencies & turnslide with applepay


When the tourists got frustrated and walked away from the kiosk


Looking back at the today’s contextual inquiry, I would have liked to have approached the tourists to ask them exactly what they were having trouble with at the kiosk. I also didn’t realize until I got home that my pictures suck. So, note to self: take better pictures. In the future, I also want to focus more on other people’s experiences, rather than my own, when conducting a contextual inquiry.