Crosswalk at the junction of Tech Square
Where is the most busiest places of all at Georgia Tech for both human beings and vehicles? That place as we all know it would be the famous Tech Square. When observing how people and vehicles respond to their surroundings at Tech square, I was surprised by how many people and vehicles cross the crosswalk path. The intersections are full of students and people waiting to cross to go to their destination. I also frequently noticed how almost everybody had their electronic device with them; whether it be texting on their phone, searching some information on their phone or even answering calls and also listening to music with their ear or headphones.
While being at Tech square with my team, I’ve noticed that some students have missed their turn of crossing the crosswalk due to not being alert or not aware of the traffic lights for pedestrian. I would say that this is just partly their fault, I would blame on the hectic environment that Tech square gives. The soundscape of this environment is very industrial since there are both vehicles and public transportation bustling on the streets. Also, I wanted to point out that the interface that the traffic lights give for pedestrians are not designed well as the signals it gives us is not emphasized enough. This gives us the issue as there is a stop light with cross walk icons that seems to have something lacking. This is also an issue for handicapped pedestrians who are blind and would not be able to clearly get the signals from the noise pollution and the busyness of Tech square.
Me and my team came up with a solution to this issue which was to create a speech directed interface. An ideal voice for the pedestrian walk signal would be medium paced so that everyone is not felt rushed and also can hear the voice without difficulty. Also since out junction at Tech square is encompassed by four sides of crosswalk path, an ideal phrase that the voice might say will be “Forward to Barnes and nobles”, “Forward to parking and transportation services Georgia Tech”, “Forward to Georgia Tech Conference Hotel”, and “Forward to TSRB building”. Over here, I have just named the building which are at the corners of the intersection. I felt that giving the names of the buildings will better direct pedestrians which crosswalk is opened for walking; also this will minimize confusions. As mentioned earlier, this would give the handicapped better alert signal from voice of the pedestrian traffic signals. I would also add a lower pitch to the voice so that it does add more stress to the already hectic place. High pitched tones might drive our stress levels up so it will be better to choose low pitched tones.
In conclusion, the use of speech directed interface in our designs are importance as it plays a huge role in giving us both safety and convenience. Also, the voice will better direct pedestrians to their destination and will reduce missing their turn of crossing the road.