Touch ‘n go

Blame it on Design.

A lot of our behaviours are done on an unconscious level, meaning the decision process of how to behave is made unconsciously. It’s shaped by contextual cues and triggers, where the human brain gathers information from visual elements and their surroundings. In that case, it’s really a design problem and not a wrong behaviour.

Did you ever push a ‘pull’ door?… more than once?

You are not a fool, blame it on Design.

For ample time i used to take the public bus in Malaysia to go to uni. If memory serves me right, three years ago they decided to change the payment system and use an electronic pre-loaded card. These cards were called rapid pass and were made by a company called touch ‘n go, which made most smart cards in Malaysia to be used in various public transport, tolls, parking, etc. A pretty awesome thing, It was a very simple system, people had to go on the bus, touch and go! makes the money exchange process a lot quicker and hassle free.. But that wasn’t the case.

touch n go

Photo by Maher Burmeh

People were not actually supposed to touch the device! They had to leave a space between the card and the device for the sensor to work. This drove the drivers mad, whenever someone entered they had to tell them how they should use their touch ‘n go cards, “don’t touch!”.  Fed up, the drivers became designers and improvised a solution that would solve this problem. Some took boxes and taped it to the device and opened a little hole in the middle, some taped a thin piece of padding foam, and another glued a chewed piece of gum, not the most hygienic solution, but it did stop the people from touching the device!

The drivers knew it; the passengers were not to be blamed, it was design.