Everyday UX — Lost on Road

DVC Parking Lot 8 Sign

I, the direction idiot, lost my way again.

It was a gorgeous day — bird singing and tree whistling — and I was driving around and around inside the huge Diablo Valley Campus. I was trying to find my direction to parking lot 3 for ToastMasters district event. I was well-prepared with a GPS and printed out the address, which told me “drive down xxx road and enter Lot 3”.

I successfully found the campus entrance, and my journey began. There was a big sign for Lot 8 right there at the entrance, I was relieved and thought this wouldn’t take me more than 2 minutes to find the right spot. I just need to find Lot 3…. where direction is Lot 3?

There’s no sign. No map, no directions, nobody around. Nothing. I drove to a place and it says Lot 9, and went to another place which obviously was outside campus.

Clock was ticking and I was in panic!

Finally, I managed to get to Lot 3, although I almost missed its sign. I parked my car, took a deep breath and walked to the building. There I saw this map at the door.

I marked all the parking lots with small red circles, and the correct direction to get to my destination. Looks very easy, huh? But no: first. there was no road sign or map at the entrance area; second, even if there was a map, it’s very hard to see where I was going from the car.

DVC Campus Map

Another happy day ended with the proof that I was still a direction idiot.

Is there an easier way to find the correct directions in this case? I am not a road sign designer but I’ll give it a shot. A simple solution is to have another sign under each parking lot sign to tell people the correction direction. I made it like this because in Diablo Valley College, each parking lot is associated with certain buildings. For example, if you come to buildings for fine arts, performing arts, or want to grab a cup of coffee, park at Lot 8.

DVC Parking Lot 8 Sign Fix

Small changes can make big differences, let’s make things easier and people feel smarter! Any other great ideas?

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Everyday UX:

Here I capture things with delightful or painful user experience in everyday life. What things are wonderful to use, and why? And what are a pain in the neck?

Any ideas on how to improve our lives is greatly appreciated! Let me know if you have something to say, too.

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