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On my infrequent trips overseas I have taken some interest in the public transport systems and how they announce or display the stops, in particular for high volume metro systems.

In Australia and US they will announce or display the next stop, and also announce which side of the door will open to the platform or station (for trains).

In Taiwan there is an additional display above the door to show that this is the side that the door opens.

In Japan there is an additional display on the opposite door to show that the other door opens to the platform.

Just wondering if there is a redundancy in the interactions or a high user experience factor, or if this is just an entirely culture based design?

  • Purely a comment from my experience. I think more information is better when it comes to transport. There are a collection of people who will use the route everyday but they are, generally, not people you are concerned with. Catering for people who may never have used your system or taken that route is, IMHO, how information should be designed. Still pertinent to the current task (don't display empty seats on a schedule board, although an empty seat summary could work etc...) – DarrylGodden Jul 30 '14 at 10:08
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It makes a lot of sense to have auditory as well as visual cues as to when and where one has to exit, as some people cannot see that well, while others cannot hear that well.

As to the sign on the opposite door:

  • The view of the correct door might be blocked (especially when sitting (in a seat, wheelchair, etc))
  • People who are facing the closed door do not have to turn around. Of course, they could just assume that they are facing the wrong door because the sign is not lit, but the sign might also just be broken
  • it might avoid the embarrassment of trying to open a closed door

So I don't think that there is a redundancy here.

In my city, there is a sign in the middle of the isle, with an arrow pointing to the correct door. I think this is also an alright solution.

What they also do and what I find very user friendly: They display not only the next stop, but the next three stops. That way, if I'm unsure as to when my stop arrives, I do not have to constantly pay attention.

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