The challenge of this project was to conceive a new stand-alone kiosk product, a parking meter, that combines current functional specifications with new interface technologies. Designing the parking meter included analyzing a current location in which parking meters are located, researching user needs, and designing the meter based on LG Appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, and washing machines. Designing the interface included analyzing the current user experience of the parking meter, researching user needs, and designing the interface based on the LG Visual Brand Language.
Primary and Secondary Research
The location chosen for the re-design of the parking meter is Tech Street in Pittsburgh. The location serves many stakeholders including students, faculty, staff, as well as visitors to the university. There are about four meters on Tech Street, each about 100 feet from each other, making it easy to park near a meter. The meters have buttons for those sitting in wheel chairs in an attempt to make them wheelchair accessible. The rates of the meters vary per hour as well as by location.
Users have a general understanding of the park-and-pay process. Pain points arise in payment itself and with the user interface. Most users prefer using credit and debit cards to pay for parking, as opposed to using coins. Users also know they are likely to overpay in order to avoid receiving tickets. Some users wish their money was refunded if they returned early. The interface proves difficult to use because the buttons are too hard to press, do not provide enough feedback when pressed, and are too far apart from the display screen. The digital interface does not have a clear visual hierarchy, or provides feedback during time-sensitive steps. The display also can not be seen on bright sunny days when glare appears on the screen itself.
The re-designed parking meter is inspired by the handles on LG Appliances. Like most LG Appliances, the housing of the kiosk is made from stainless steel. Users interact with the kiosk through a touch screen, and insert their payment through a credit and debit card slot. The curved surface towards the top of the kiosk is designed to reduce glare on the parking meter screen.
The parking meter is made from brake pressed, welded stainless steel sheets. It is powered using a 12v 10.5w solar panel and 12v DC battery. The meter is riveted together and anchored to the ground using bolts.
Final Interface Design
The final interface design addresses pain points such as using coins, as well as overpaying. All buttons are displayed on the screen itself, eliminating the need for a physical keypad. The final interface also has a clear visual hierarchy and provides feedback during time-sensitive steps.