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Marine Dock Parking Meter

The assigned project was to design an interface for a new parking meter, but our group decided to shift the context slightly by moving away from people parking their cars to boaters docking their boats in a marina environment. We felt that the objective of the assignment was still applicable, but this new audience would yield interesting new ideas. We accommodated several different user types involved in the marina environment and several different boat docking scenarios.

November 2002
Interface & Interaction Design
School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University
[This research project was a collaborative effort between myself and two fellow classmates.]

[— presentation & process —]
[— scenario —]

[— interface model —]

The Marine Dock Parking Meter is a interactive kiosk for marinas that service three primary users: The Boat Owner who stores a boat and uses it occasionally or frequently, the Live-a-board Boater who lives on the boat and leaves the marina occasionally, and the Visiting Boater who uses the service of the marina temporarily. The system consists of a central kiosk and individual service boxes for each boat. Boaters can manage their slip payment, fuel and power services, external services such as supply orders and maintenance services, local information and attractions for visiting boaters, and trip planning services such as navigational maps and weather information.

We began by brainstorming different audiences that would interact with a parking meter, the types of activities they might be engaged in and how the parking meter could assist. We considered payment methods, product attributes, display and interface, printing, and the form factor. After considering all of this information within the context of a parking meter in a downtown area, I suggested that we consider some alternatives. The first idea was to develop a parking meter that considered the monetary needs of the city and intentionally tricked drivers into violating rules that would result in a parking ticket, generating revenue. This idea was intended to make a statement about the questionable tactics utilized by parking enforcement agencies. My second suggestion was address the problem, but not for people parking cars but instead for boats in a marina. This provided us a unique design opportunity with many different user types and activities. During the development of this idea, my primary contributions was in the system’s design and how it addressed the needs of the different boater types and I assisted in the interaction model for the interface and some of the graphic design.