I'm a Research Fellow and Digital Media Advisor at The University of Melbourne and Science Gallery Melbourne. I have a keen interest in investigating democratic use of technology in public space. I conduct design research to uncover design parameters that stimulate activation, participation and engagement with technology.
Our built environment is becoming increasingly equipped with public displays, many of which are networked and share the same physical location. In spite of their ubiquitous presence and inherent dynamic functionalities, the presence of multiple public displays is often not exploited, such as to solve dynamic wayfinding challenges in crowded or complex spaces. Hence, we have studied how signage can be animated onto multiple consecutively located public displays in combination with other content. This paper reports on an in-the-wild evaluation study in a real-world, metropolitan train station in order to identify the most promising design strategies to: 1) provide the notion of spatial directionality by way of animation; 2) support concurrent viewing of wayfinding with other content types, and 3) convey a sense of urgency. Our results indicate that spatially distributed animated patterns may be used to convey directions under specific spatial conditions and content combination strategies, yet their impact is limited and highly dependent on the visibility of the animated patterns on individual screens and across multiple displays.