Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan
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22

Jun

Quote my son’s teacher put and changes daily at his school

Quote my son’s teacher put and changes daily at his school

15

Jan

Senayan City Directory Board
Following ‘sequence of use’ and ‘functionality' layout principle, these boards are located conveniently near to escalators. Clear, concise, useful.
Note: sorry for the poor quality pic, was taken using mobile phone camera. Will try to get a proper one soon.

Senayan City Directory Board

Following ‘sequence of use’ and ‘functionality' layout principle, these boards are located conveniently near to escalators. Clear, concise, useful.

Note: sorry for the poor quality pic, was taken using mobile phone camera. Will try to get a proper one soon.

Senayan City

Located in Jl. Asia Afrika, one of Jakarta’s luxurious malls, Senayan City has got everything to offer, from latest collection designer items, food selection from all over the world, to ultra modern and spacious building.

Entering the building, you are quickly enveloped with the coldness of the shopping mall. If I should describe this mall with one word, it would be “white”, due to the dominant colour of its interior, the chrome and the glass. Nearing to the centre of the ground floor, look up and be prepared to be overwhelmed with the sky high ceiling, up to the 8th floor.

Due to the size of the mall (which is hu-u-ge), it does take some getting used to. but Senayan City layout is relatively easy to comprehend, as it is consistent from floor to floor so that visitors can easily generalized their actions in the buildings. For example, you will find toilets on the exactly same spots on every floor, without any obstruction to the area nor to the signs. The signs are clearly displayed so that visitors enjoy clarity of information. Moreover, staffs and security guards are always on sight for people to get help (-ergonomic principle of user guidance and support).

Despite of my personal dislike of cold and futuristic ambiance of the mall, I have to admit it’s huge and open concept helped a lot to identify your surroundings thus comply with explicitness ergonomic principle, where users need to have clear visibility of their environments. The dominant white interior sets a perfect background for the shops displays, which in turns highlights them, and it is easy to recognize the shops even from far below.

However, Senayan City is not my favourite strolling destination if I have to go shopping with my 23 months old son, due to some simple but crucial setbacks. In all fairness, I admit these setbacks are highly subjective.

As a mother of a toddler, it is highly inconvenient to have to climb to the 4th floor (if I am not mistaken, will make sure on next visit) everytime I need to change my son’s diaper. The most appropriate baby changing facility is only available on the 4th floor, as the other below standard facilities are available in several (note: not all) of the female toilets. I am not going to discuss what will happen when the fathers are the ones who need to change the diapers. For a mall this scale, one would think to have easy access to proper baby changing facilities, which Senayan City definitely lacks of.

Oh, and did I mention the facility is on the 4th floor? Going up with a stroller is yet another challenge, as this mall only provides 2 sets of elevators with a total of 4. One set is clearly displayed in the middle of the open central area, while the other is located in a secluded area somewhere on the back, where only the loyal customers know. In all fairness, the management did try to persuade visitors to use the many numbers of escalators sprawling on every corner. In front of the elevators, there are signs saying that the elevators are mainly dedicated to people who are pregnant/using wheelchairs/carrying strollers, but do they comply? Of course, most people not. Why bother walking a few kilometers if you can stand still and let the elevators do their magic.

So, yes, despite of the excellent initial idea to assign a couple of elevators only for those who actually need them, the designers should really look into psychographic research in Jakarta. Should it was done properly, they would have realized that Jakartans are not the most considerate breeds, and they would have installed a few more sets of elevators.

26

Dec

Note the height restriction board, also some good advice for people under certain conditions.

Note the height restriction board, also some good advice for people under certain conditions.

Rainforest Kidzworld.
99% of visitors would never missed this place for at least 4 reasons:
Noisily displayed on the Zoo map, with attractive images.
Tram drivers reminds you to hop off at the second stop to visit Rainforest Kidzworld.
Huge signs and colourful displays.
Horse carriage stops in front of it, the kids will drag you there just to see it.
Regrettably, once in front of the yellow wall, there was no signs whatsoever to indicate of what to do next. Thoughts that crossed my mind included: “Do we need to buy tickets to get in?”, “Where is the entrance?”, and “Can we drag the wagon inside?”
The answers were thankfully quite easy to find, by simply asks one of the souvenir shop’s staffs. She said: “Tickets are only if you want to get on the carriage, ride the ponny, or carrousel” “You can enter through the souvenirs shop,” and “Sure you can bring the wagon, however the shop is a little crowded so please don’t leave it on the aisle.”
Finally we learned (trial and error) that it was easier to enter from the right side of the yellow wall, where the mini horses are, as the shop was actually a bit intimidating for me to drag my son’s bulky wagon through.
Once inside, everything was easily recognized and learned. Some might find the lack of signs a tad bit annoying, but try to walkabout a little and you will find that the area is quite manageable. It was easy to get to everything that the enclosure has to offer. That includes the Waterplay (you can not miss it, it’s like RIGHT THERE), walk around it to recognize the appropriate waterplay area for your kids - some might pose potential hazard for young children, be sure to have them in your sight all the time.
There are horse stables with quite a collection of mini to big horses, with small name plate displaying their names and traits - such as moody and happy horses. The children can also pet and feed rabbits. I wanted my son to experience the rabbit feeding, that I especially memorized the time from the internet (yes, I did meticulous research before visiting). However, it would be nice if there was some sort of an announcement a short time before the feeding-time. The visitors are likely to be easily distracted by the other attractions.
So, summing up, most children from 1.5 years old and older can safely enjoy most of the attractions in the Rainforest Kidzworld. Please note that the Wet Play requires constant supervision, especially if you have toddlers, as water, stairs, and older kids running about are not exactly their bestfriends.  Also, I found that obeying the written rules (such as height restrictions) and use of common sense always works.
This area is an entertainment for children and grown-ups alike inside the Singapore Zoo. Small enough for parents and caregivers to keep an eye on their kiddos, and simple enough for the little ones to enjoy without being too overwhelmed by it. I hope you will enjoy it as much as my son did. Or maybe you have… :)

Rainforest Kidzworld.

99% of visitors would never missed this place for at least 4 reasons:

  1. Noisily displayed on the Zoo map, with attractive images.
  2. Tram drivers reminds you to hop off at the second stop to visit Rainforest Kidzworld.
  3. Huge signs and colourful displays.
  4. Horse carriage stops in front of it, the kids will drag you there just to see it.

Regrettably, once in front of the yellow wall, there was no signs whatsoever to indicate of what to do next. Thoughts that crossed my mind included: “Do we need to buy tickets to get in?”, “Where is the entrance?”, and “Can we drag the wagon inside?”

The answers were thankfully quite easy to find, by simply asks one of the souvenir shop’s staffs. She said: “Tickets are only if you want to get on the carriage, ride the ponny, or carrousel” “You can enter through the souvenirs shop,” and “Sure you can bring the wagon, however the shop is a little crowded so please don’t leave it on the aisle.”

Finally we learned (trial and error) that it was easier to enter from the right side of the yellow wall, where the mini horses are, as the shop was actually a bit intimidating for me to drag my son’s bulky wagon through.

Once inside, everything was easily recognized and learned. Some might find the lack of signs a tad bit annoying, but try to walkabout a little and you will find that the area is quite manageable. It was easy to get to everything that the enclosure has to offer. That includes the Waterplay (you can not miss it, it’s like RIGHT THERE), walk around it to recognize the appropriate waterplay area for your kids - some might pose potential hazard for young children, be sure to have them in your sight all the time.

There are horse stables with quite a collection of mini to big horses, with small name plate displaying their names and traits - such as moody and happy horses. The children can also pet and feed rabbits. I wanted my son to experience the rabbit feeding, that I especially memorized the time from the internet (yes, I did meticulous research before visiting). However, it would be nice if there was some sort of an announcement a short time before the feeding-time. The visitors are likely to be easily distracted by the other attractions.

So, summing up, most children from 1.5 years old and older can safely enjoy most of the attractions in the Rainforest Kidzworld. Please note that the Wet Play requires constant supervision, especially if you have toddlers, as water, stairs, and older kids running about are not exactly their bestfriends.  Also, I found that obeying the written rules (such as height restrictions) and use of common sense always works.

This area is an entertainment for children and grown-ups alike inside the Singapore Zoo. Small enough for parents and caregivers to keep an eye on their kiddos, and simple enough for the little ones to enjoy without being too overwhelmed by it. I hope you will enjoy it as much as my son did. Or maybe you have… :)

07

Dec

Singapore Zoo Map, to give you ideas of how a map of a family attraction should be designed to help it’s users avoid errors in a simplest way possible.
Accessibility: an object should be usable by as many people as possible. If the adults failed to read it, I’m sure the kids can lead you to the Kidzworld area.
Aesthetic-Usability Effect: aesthetic designs are perceived as easier to use.
Chunking: combining many units of information into limited chunks, so that they are easier to process and remember.
Colour: used to attract attention and enhance aesthetics.
Entry Point: first impression has minimal barriers for users to read through and use it. In short, it does not put you off at first glance.
Iconic Representation: use of pictorial images to improve recognition and recall of signs.
Legibility: texts are reasonably and visually clear.
Picture Superiority Effect: pictures speak louder than words!
Progressive Disclosure: only necessary information is displayed, thus prevent information overload.
Readability: simplicity of words and sentences, without sacrificing the meaning and clarity of information.
Wayfinding: uses spatial and environmental information to navigate to a destination. Help orientation by using landmarks and signages; lay out the routes for decision making; and indicate destination for easy recognizing. Give destinations clear and consistent identities.  
An easy indicator, if mommies (both of who can and can not read maps) love your maps, you are good to go!

Singapore Zoo Map, to give you ideas of how a map of a family attraction should be designed to help it’s users avoid errors in a simplest way possible.

  • Accessibility: an object should be usable by as many people as possible. If the adults failed to read it, I’m sure the kids can lead you to the Kidzworld area.
  • Aesthetic-Usability Effect: aesthetic designs are perceived as easier to use.
  • Chunking: combining many units of information into limited chunks, so that they are easier to process and remember.
  • Colour: used to attract attention and enhance aesthetics.
  • Entry Point: first impression has minimal barriers for users to read through and use it. In short, it does not put you off at first glance.
  • Iconic Representation: use of pictorial images to improve recognition and recall of signs.
  • Legibility: texts are reasonably and visually clear.
  • Picture Superiority Effect: pictures speak louder than words!
  • Progressive Disclosure: only necessary information is displayed, thus prevent information overload.
  • Readability: simplicity of words and sentences, without sacrificing the meaning and clarity of information.
  • Wayfinding: uses spatial and environmental information to navigate to a destination. Help orientation by using landmarks and signages; lay out the routes for decision making; and indicate destination for easy recognizing. Give destinations clear and consistent identities. 

An easy indicator, if mommies (both of who can and can not read maps) love your maps, you are good to go!

04

Dec

Singapore Zoo

From our last trip to Singapore, we took my son to visit the famous Singapore Zoo. We got there by cab. It was quite a lengthy journey from the city, however the scenery went greener and greener along the way, so we didn’t really mind.

We arrived at the taxi drop-off area. From that point, it was a little guessing game to look for the ticketing area as I didn’t see any signage. However, I found the entrance layout was very helpful as it cued us where to head for. It follows the rule of compatibility where people would expect designs to follow particular conventions. In this case, I would expect to go to the more crowded area, lined with restaurants and cafes.

The front area environment was pretty straigtforward and clear. Signages are readily available about ticket counters, wagon/stroller rental, and point of entry. As well as for other facilities such as toilets and fish spa.

The zoo is set up in a natural rainforest, about 28 hectares wide. One would expect to get lost trying to capture all 315 species currently living in it. Put your worries aside, simply by taking your free copy of the zoo map in the ticket counter. The map is highly explanatory and gives you a clear idea of the zoo layout, which by itself is actually fairly simple. If walking the entire perimeter sounds lame to you, hop on a tram or a boat to get to places. Tram stops and boat docks are situated within reasonable walking distances, normally in the vicinity of a cafe or rest area. In short, all components of most importance (transportation, foods and drinks, toilets, staff aid) are conveniently located.

There are loud and clear signs of the animals in front of every enclosure, in many forms ranging from simple name plates to giant banner. So, really, you can’t miss who are inside those fences from a distance - get your camera or kids ready to see them.

We did not encounter any trouble circulating within the zoo. All roads and pathways are reasonably wide enough for everybody - walking, strolling, or wagoning.

The ambience is very pleasant as we are in natural rainforest. All green and serene. Visitors who need a break from their busy city lives would definitely invigorate their psycho-pleasures by going back to nature and restore their emotional calm.

I could write forever about this space, but I will stop now. But not before giving a few summary of why I think the zoo is simply a bliss.

  • Error recovery: visitors are able to get out of erroneous situations, retrace their steps if necessary, and continue towards their goal.
  • Consistency: similarity throughout the facility, thus visitors can generalise their actions.
  • Clarity of informations:all information are clear, unambiguous, and understandable. The zoo uses loads of pictorials for their visual info.
  • User guidance and support: users are able to get help on request. The staffs are always on sight, and ready to help (although you might want to limit your expectation of them smiling at you).

Enjoy!

(Source: Wikipedia)

24

Nov

The Bathouse below inspires me to post this image. It’s not so much of a building, it’s actually a sculpture by Dennis Oppenheim. Built in 1997, after its controversy (it is actually a Church turned upside-down), it has finally found its home in Vancouver, Canada.
A building like this, would confuse bats and humans alike.

The Bathouse below inspires me to post this image. It’s not so much of a building, it’s actually a sculpture by Dennis Oppenheim. Built in 1997, after its controversy (it is actually a Church turned upside-down), it has finally found its home in Vancouver, Canada.

A building like this, would confuse bats and humans alike.

Design Psychology

Also known as Environmental Psychology, it scrutinizes the layout, the circulation, and the ambient environment of a space; natural or human-created. A brief explanation of them below.

It is important for every design element to accommodate the needs of users with wide range of accessibility. Therefore, every design layout must be made with regards to ergonomic principles. These principles, as stated by Jordan (2000), are error recovery, consistency, compatibility, clarity of information, control, feedback, user guidance and support, and explicitness.

Designers must comply with standard requirements circulation area, which will permit the occupants to move and circulate safely and comfortably within premises. Environments should be designed to be usable, without modification, by people of diverse abilities. This also includes usage of clear and unambiguous signs.

The ambient environment of a space is affected by psychological effects of noise, temperature, and lighting. Colours, graphics, sound, and materials are also important to elevate aesthetic elements of an environment. Although may be considered as peripheral issues, aesthetic plays a significant role as people tend to perceive aesthetic designs as easier to use than less-aesthetic designs; whether they are or not. Lidwell and friends (2003) say that aesthetic designs are also more readily accepted and used over time, and promote creative thinking and problem solving. It also foster positive relationships with people, making them more tolerant of problem with a design.

Let’s visit some places and see if they’re built to make our lives easier or simply just to complicate it…

Forever Curious

 

Aren’t we curious of how our body and mind react to our surroundings? Why some places make us feel warm and like we are home, and others just make our hair stood up and want to run away? Lets try to make sense of this ever colourful world, full of textures, sounds and sights, and its interaction with its inhabitants, us human. Isn’t this a curious world…