The X-Cross project was a research project for the live between COVID-19 pandemic. The resarch focused on the public traffic system and the human behaviors in between. tried to build up an enhancement for the user experience against the pandemic. In the research process the method of quantitative analysis and other methods of behavior resarch was highly used.
Research & Observe
Observation is always a most beginning part of a design project, which help researchers to understand the situation and the problems. There are three steps in this process, first of all, choosing an object. In this project the research object is the crossroads nearby Marktplatz in Offenbach, which contains the infrastructures, the vehicals and the pedestrian.
Secondly, the observation should be recorded into a system, which clearly shows the relationship between the three components. In this project, the Time-Track-System was used to record the behavior of the pedestrian, which means the moving track of each observed pedestrian was record according to the time points on a map. With this method, the relationship in this system was clearly showed, and we can find the potential problems accoding to the data.
On the third step, the observed object was classifed into three types, Walkers, Baby carriages, and Bicycles. The position of the object was record in each 2 seconds with a red point on the map. In this process, a metronome was used as a time counter while observing.
The problems were also observed in this process, people gather easily together while crossing the street or waiting the traffic light, which has high risk in the pandemic. And the reasons are related to the original planning of the infrastructure (road planning and trafficlight planning).
Design & Development
From the observation the problem was found that most of the crossroads was designed to fit to the behavior of vehicals not to the pedestrians. The vehicals have more priorities and so that the pedestrians were limited in this system.
The solutions of the problems are not only some visual guides as the normal design, but on the city-planning leve, which means the function of the crossroads should be redefined. Only the pedestians have higher proritiy and efficiency can less gathering happen.
The redesign of a crossing considers the efficiency of the pedestrians. as the picture above, people can cross the road while the vehicals turning right or left.
The details of sidewalk is also important. The new version of the idea considered not only the relationship between pedestians and vehicals, also the pedetrians themselves. The optimization makes it possible to avoid gathring of pedesrians and sothat avoid the infection in crowd.
Visual system are also used in the new design inoder to enhance the user experience and make it clear to all the participants in the cross system.
Result & Animation
In oder to show the new funtion of the redeisgn, a simulation was built up with Unity to show how it works. In this Unity programm, a little town with a cental cross was built up, and the vehicals and pedestrains are as inputs to the system. The video below shows the basic funtion of the final design.