A. Greenfield, who may regain happiness once he leaves that godforsaken dark tundra for good, describes the transportation equivalent of the zipless fuck.

[S]omething that happened as I was saying goodbye to a friend after meeting up for an after-work beer the other day… was really just a nicely-gift-wrapped version of something I’m sure happens ten thousand times a day, in cities across the planet: We shook hands and went our separate ways at the precise moment a tram glided to a stop in front of the bar, and I had to laugh as he stepped onto it without missing a beat and was borne smoothly away.

Here you wait in the rain (or, lately, blazing sun) for up to 30 minutes, then climb stairs to show a driver with a Bluetooth in his left ear a strip of paper.

A whole lot of factors in space and time needed to come into momentary alignment for this to happen, from the dwell time and low step-up height of the tram itself to the rudimentary physical denotation of the tram stop and the precise angle at which the bar’s doorway confronted the street. Admittedly, service and interaction designers will generally only be able to speak to some of these issues. But what if we could design mobility systems, and our interfaces to them, to afford more sequences like this, more of the time?

It’s gonna take more than a Presto card.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2010.07.11 14:17. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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