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Monday, September 28, 2009

New York City Subway LED Signage

Update #1. Blogged by Michael Lebowitz: Nice - New York City Subway LED Signage (via @pyesawichjr). SML Thank You!
Update #2. Blogged by Inosthetics: New York City Subway Dynamic LED Signage. SML Thank You!

NYC Subway LED Signage / 20090923.SD850IS.3166 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

I was riding the M train last week and I spotted this new LED signage system. I am not sure how new they are as I have not seen them before, but then since I mostly travel on F train (or actually mostly cabs...), I don't know if these are really spanking new or just that I have not been riding on the line.

The photograph alone does not show how it is a superior improvement to the previous system, so I did a video of it to show you how it works:

New York City Subway Signage / 2009-09-23 / SML from See-ming Lee 李思明 SML on Vimeo.
This 720p HD Video is also on YouTube and Flickr.

The signage is split into two halves. On the left side of the panel shows where the train is at while the train is stopped (with a flashing bounding box), and when it's in motion, it displays the next stop. The name of the next 10 stops, in yellow, are displayed to the right of 'you are here sign post'. Each station name is accompanied with designation in green which shows the additional lines you can do an interchange. A red handicapped icon designate whether there it is a station equipped with accessibility access.

At the end of the right half of the panel shows the last stop of the train, and the LED displays loops through the rest of the stop in multiple of 10s, so you can get a glance of all the stops while keeping the display small enough so as not requiring an extra large panel for the longer lines.

NYC Subway Signage / 20090923.SD850IS.3142.P1 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

This design is smart, efficient and very usable. I am very glad that MTA enlisted a clearly great design team for this project. When MTA upgraded the signage on the 4/5/6 a few years back, I thought that those signage is a nice upgrade but cannot imagine how flexible it can be when the map was essentially a static print-out. This new system not only is more efficient, but it makes it portable to any line without the need to upgrade the hardware. When new lines are introduced, it can quickly adapt to the new environment, so kudos to the design team, whoever you are!

Related SML
+ SML Pro Blog: Design
+ SML Pro Blog: Infographics
+ SML Pro Blog: Information Design
+ SML Pro Blog: New York


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