New York city mta transit display concept

It all started when...

After riding a good portion of most of the lines within the NYC MTA subway system I began to notice a trend of LED/LCD displays being installed to replace old lightbulb driven ones.

Awesome, I thought to myself. They'll finally utilize the displays to display more information and maybe even do targeted ads based on the location of the stations surrounding neighborhood. But to my disappointment when I saw them running at the Bedford Ave L station I saw the image to your left. My disappointment was multilayered. 

Original Tweet

Original Tweet


Existing Breakdown

Design Feedback

The usage of the text on the screen leaves everything feeling very jammed together. The spacing between "1." and the radial for the Line doesn't exist. The same for any padding of the destination name for the arriving train on it left and the time till arrival on it's right. 

Existing Usage @ Bedford Ave L Station

Existing Usage @ Bedford Ave L Station

Helpful information like the current Date and Time are an off green color very tiny and tucked away. If you are over 65 that's gonna be tough to read; 

Real-Time System Data

The only real time data i'm getting is that the next train heading towards "Rockaway Parkway" will arrive "now" and in 7 minutes. I then have to wait for it to cycle to the next screen to see the train arrival time estimates for the trains heading in the opposite direction, towards 8th Ave in Manhattan. 


Station-Centric Display Concept

Pitched Station-Centric Redesign

Pitched Station-Centric Redesign

Single Screen

As a rider I didn't like having to wait for the next screen. Sometimes the screen would malfunction or outright be inaccurate. Given the size and dimensions of the screen to show more valuable information to those who have multi-line experiences to get home. 

Realistic Metaphor

The trains are, in essence, traveling towards you each coming from opposite directions. Using that the design puts the station at the center of the screen. This allows me to see not only 2 trains out, as the existing design does, but 5 trains out. Including the succession they will arrive in. 

Leveraging a binary YES/NO for delays on other lines those listed along that bottom that are full color have delays. Those that are at reduced opacity do not have delays. 

Information Value

The day, date, time, temp (both F & C) are given top line billing. Many tourists and the like are using maps with timetables listed so being able to understand the time would be helpful. 


User Reaction

Twitter DM w/ Cat Noone

Twitter DM w/ Cat Noone

I sent a direct message of the initial concept to a twitter designer friend of mine Cat Noone to get her reaction as someone who lives in the area and uses the subway. As you can see in the image when the first 3 words are "I like this" I'll take it. 

My next stage is to finish a Framer animated prototype to show the effect the animation has on the design.