Air travellers are faced with conflicting stereotypes for document scanners; face up or face down. The check-in machine shown here expects my passport face-up.
e-passport reader expects it face-down (which matches my
article says the future for boarding card readers is face up.
Glasgow Airport has just installed face-down readers. It is clearly
going to be a confusing mess for the next decade. Not life-threatening,
but along with the security
theatre, a signifier of the clueless authoritarianism
that lurks behind the functionalist aesthetic.
A collection of recently-collected confusing iconography above (not air travel, but while travelling). The
first sign does NOT mean that you are safe from flames in the lift. It
is very unclear what the sign adds to the text in the second one. The
bottom indicator was clear to the designer, I'm sure..
The picture above is from the Hamburg Metro at the airport. A true gem. To go to the city centre, you press button 3. Not that button 3 - the one on the screen.
UX is about more than just functionalism. Going through Heathrow, I was
delighted to see this picture of Herne
The celebration of
local mythology is to be welcomed , but does it have to be so
functionalist? A more evocative image is this one:
The UX of air travel is affected by the sense of place. For British
airports, it is adversely affected by a complete lack of any sense of
place from a combination of soulless functionalism and relentless
mercantilism. Glasgow Airport was (properly) designed
by Basil Spence, who ".. wanted a design which helped the
traveller to feel the adventure of flying from this particular
airport”. Well, the feel of adventure has gone, and the design has been
buried in extensions. It is still possible to see the back of the
The good news is that Wetherspoons understand a sense of place. They
have put up a poster to Spence and provided a place where you can
appreciate the canopy (originally outside the building of