question: for 361º's latest case-study, we dove into a new issue facing design in the future: how will it interact with accessibility?
answer: to look at this problem in-depth, 361º took the example of self-driving taxis on the streets of a city. with the rise of ridesharing and cabs as a form of transport around major cities, access to ride services needs to grow. for people without phones, people unable to use phones, and people who can't open their phone at certain times, there will need to be a public way to access these forms of transportation.
that's why 361º designed whistle, a kiosk to get transit from point a to b. whistle was made to be for everyone, with accessibility in mind. made with consideration of blind, deaf, old, and young people, whistle strips away all unnecessary features and adds intuitive interactions, along with extra features for disabled users.
many apps today are designed with an icon-first interface, where users are meant to intuitively understand what each icon means. whistle goes in the opposite direction of that, instructing users with questions instead of directions, inviting them to participate on screen. where words disappear, clearly designed buttons pop up, showing users where to navigate.
to make whistle available for all ages, dynamic type was integrated, allowing users to adjust the text size across the entire interface. large back buttons were also designed to make sure users felt in control of where they were in the hailing process throughout their entire request. another directional component added was the use of accent colors, creating a design that pointed users attention to certain parts of the screen. an example of this is input panels: every place where the user is asked to decide or make an action is in blue, so the user is aware they need to act.
for seeing-impaired users, a single multi-use button was introduced to the front of the kiosk paired with voice recognition technology. when the user is needed to take action, built-in speakers instruct users to hold down the button to do various tasks including saying an address out loud or confirming their ride. for hearing-impaired users, the interface is clean of sound and distractions, so they can interact with the intuitive interface without needing to worry about missing a crucial part of the ride-hailing process.
conveniently, during the night, whistle dims into dark mode, a darker interface that is made to be easier on users eyes when it's not bright outside.
and to pay for a ride, users don't need a phone either. a credit card slot is built into the front of the kiosk, designed to also include contactless payment, so that anyone can use whistle, safely.
as 361º continues to look into a future filled with new kinds of transportation and design challenges, new concerns arise. taking as many into consideration as possible, 361º plans to look into more design challenges within this series, broadcasting our ideas to the world and inviting many others to contribute.
a look into whistle:
take a peek at dark mode: