Tom Cobbenhagen

A business card and portfolio



Final Bachelor Project (B3.2) – Design Project


B. Pfleging, S. de Waart, M. Bruns


Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS)


Onboard Preparatory Wayfinding Information System

Wayfinding has its goal to provide a user in an (unknown) environment with the shortest, easiest, fastest or most eco-friendly route possible to their destination. However, the specific way in which information is being presented is important to the success of a wayfinding technique; such information should be understandable without resorting to too much semantics. Symbols, shapes
and zoning are often the industry standard for decreasing complexity of man-made structures, but the way these symbols are presented, is also crucial. Keeping the amount of semantics low, will result in more inclusion as well as clarity. The goal of this project is to improve the presentation of wayfinding information and real-time travel information in trains and train stations.

An issue that persists between travellers of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS, Dutch Railways) is the fear of not knowing their way to their next destination in a complex station. Wayfinding is crucial for this, as this destination may often be a next train, different mode of public transport or an event/meeting they may be running late for. Travellers often feel disoriented and lost immediately after
exiting a train; the station is known, but not the directions or the quickest route.

The suggested concept is to present this wayfinding information moments before disembarkation of the train. Media in a first-person perspective with augmented information is presented on the train’s door windows, while the train is approaching the station. Information in the first-person journey should then be stored in the user’s short-term memory along with orientation points, real time information and structures. After disembarkation, these orientation points, real time information and structures, should be recognised by the user and allow them to follow the path much alike the firstperson perspective media.

During research, several types of research were conducted, both observatory and user-centred. Current wayfinding techniques in place were thoroughly observed and captured, also by re-enacting customer journeys. Close contact with the client ensured concepts were evaluated in early stages to make sure that visions and expectations were aligned. During the iterative cycle, several iterations were evaluated or tested using the UEQ method.