User Interface: Electronic Road Signs

highway sign

One nice feature of the Atlanta roadways is the electronic signs. Every few miles on the major freeways there is a large sign. It tells you when there is a traffic jam, an Amber alert, construction, etc. They are incredibly useful for avoiding big problems and re-routing traffic properly.

They have one small problem. They should only show something when there is relevant or new information. Often they have messages that tell me an exit 8 miles away takes me 8 minute to get to. In other words, they are telling me that traffic is flowing as it should. This is not helpful. It wastes my attention. It trains me to ignore the signs. The sign should only display information when that information is at odds with the normal situation.

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Muttroxia: Best of 2009

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