analytical Q DiaryContactDiscussion

The Diary of Anne Ku

8 July 2000 Saturday


I was raving about going to the Short Hills shopping mall in New Jersey, as it was too early for the Sales in Manhattan. My brother convinced me otherwise. He told me to take the commuter train to New Jersey.

With my colleague, we arrived at Penn Station to a crowd of people - and running dead against time. It was one train per hour - and we didn't want to have to wait. The queues were all equally long for ticket machines, while a man stood by to help people who got stuck. As soon as one ticket machine breaks down, the queue becomes stagnant. It was a weird operation: queuing for the ticket machine - but not for the man who could quite easily sell tickets. Of course, to use the ticket machines we had to know how to read and write and count our change.

At least the Metro ticket machines were very easy to use. For an equivalent long-term ticket in London, you'd have to click ten times. It was THAT user-unfriendly. Of course, while you're clicking, the queue behind you gets even longer.

Whoever designed ticket machines ought to be a power user of tickets - a frequent traveller, a commuter, etc. Instead, ticket machines were probably designed by people who never travelled. At least, that's what it seems!




20 August 2000

I had jotted down my thoughts of the day during my travels. Now that I've FINALLY unpacked and cleaned up my room, I found these notes. So I will now "back-fill" my on-line diary.