Friday, 25 July 2014

Behaviour in crowds and paying attention

Part of what influences our experience of places like airports is how those around us behave.

Of course it's not always positive as far as our own perception goes - a recent piece on-line highlighted the 12 most annoying things other passengers do - 

We've probably all experienced most of these (and been guilty of some of them too!).  However we've pointed the link to the one about lack of attention as it tied in with another story we read about the influence of smartphones on people movement.

This article on the BBC website, talked about the growth in smartphone usage in Japan and how it is starting to impact on how, in a busy and congested environment, people navigate around each other. Cultural and social norms in Japan meant this has always worked effectively...until now as the smartphone draws attention away from the surroundings - the emergence of "dumbwalking"

There are lots of companies and operators starting to advocate the use smartphones for things like wayfinding and navigation. This experience suggests this might not be great unless we want more zombie-like people wandering the airports not paying attention!

Update: 15 September 2014
So now a Chinese city has created a special lane for phone users (perhaps not totally seriously!).  It's perhaps not the answer!  But it might be worth watching how people use it.  It certainly is a good reminder of the growing problem of distraction as people walk around our cities.

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