Large campuses and urban environments can prove challenging to get around. At the Design Lab, we sought to empower citizens to explore their surroundings by designing a large-scale hybrid tangible map. Through user research and testing, we were able to show that new users could find directions and directory information up to 60% faster than with text based search portals.
Navigating large institutions is an edge-case where 2 dimensional touchscreen mapping systems break down. Large campuses consist of multilayered data, such as people, rooms, hallways, events and buildings, which may change often and are not publicly accessible. Users explore a tiny fraction of the environment and rely on memorization to build a model of the locations, people and services they use.