Last week, MetroMedia Plus, the people behind the Metrovision screens in high-traffic metro stations – which show news updates and ads on giant screens but also helpfully tell us how long it’ll be until the next train arrives – gave it a design update.
The screens still show the same information in the same places along the top: the time (though now with the date underneath), the Metrovision logo, the weather and the times of the next departures. But it’s the last one that doesn’t seem to have been thought through so well. The new digits are noticeably smaller, include a useless leading zero, and have lost a lot of contrast. Instead of being white on dark blue, they became light blue on white.
I noticed the result easily as I transferred trains at Berri-UQAM: While under the previous layout I could see the time to the next train at a glance from 50 feet away, with the new layout it became a blur.
Within a few days, the layout had changed slightly. The light blue text became black, and the size of the numbers were larger, making them easier to see from a distance.
If only someone had thought to conduct usability testing before the system went into effect…
Meanwhile, Metrovision has brought on Ze Mime, Didier Lucien, to act out stuff for advertisers. Since Metrovision doesn’t have sound, this kind of makes sense. Maybe even “a dynamic way to advertise,” as the release says.
But I don’t see how useful a mime will be at talking to us about transit schedules and news. How do you mime “ralentissement de service sur la ligne orange”?