Comment 77240

By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted May 24, 2012 at 10:43:26

Our city has suffered far too long at the hands of buzzwords and urban talking-heads expounding urban theories ad nauseam. When the science of 'Usability' is used to prop an ideology, it usually signifies an end of discovery, with predictable, almost comical outcomes.

"However, usability is based on what we actually observe in users. It's not based on a set of assumptions that sound reasonable but haven't been tested. Without applying evidence-based best practices to the design phase and employing user testing as early as possible to check assumptions against reality, any design is at best a crapshoot. ~ Ryan McGreal

So, let us apply evidence-based testing to check assumptions against reality:

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Aberdeen and Queen Street South Crossing - Facing East.

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A Two-way street abruptly turns into a One-way street - leading into one of the most peaceful, safe, visually appealing, and most expensive neighbourhoods of Hamilton.

"...So immediately, these streets are less appealing sites for driving destinations than they would be if they were two-way,... ~ Ryan McGreal"

How does one explain this anomaly?

Or is good urban design nothing more than a series of well orchestrated anomalies which begs not to be codified by rules especially those driven by ideology?

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All streets are contextual. Main and King call to be addressed quite differently from each other, as well as from Cannon and Wilson. What is their context? is what we need to be discovering. The direction/s of their design will flow from this discovery.

"User experience (UX) is subjective, context-dependent and dynamic over time. Laboratory experiments [or ideologies] may work well for studying a specific aspect of user experience, but holistic user experience is optimally studied over a longer period of time with real users in a natural environment." ~ User experience evaluation

Mahesh P. Butani

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