Two Class of 2015 alumni, Amy Wu and Luke Stern, were featured in the past week's New York Times Magazine in a story titled "Makeover Mania - Inside the 21st-Century Craze for Redesigning Everything." The story follows the redesign of the New York bike-share program, Citi Bike, after realizing they were encountering the problem of failing to attract enough “casual” riders to the program. Citi Bike presented this problem to our students in their Design in Public Spaces class in 2014, and were so impressed by the solutions the students came up with that they hired Amy and Luke to solve their user problem and redesign the kiosks so that they were friendly to first-time and tourist users.
The story covers a number of redesigns including the MasterCard logo, the Ring doorbell, and the Bobble bottle among others, and explores the process of a redesign in a number of different contexts. Amy and Luke describe their personal experience and process working with Citi Bike and why they chose to address Citi Bike's design problem in the way they did:
There was another, more prosaic reason that Stern and Wu focused on the decal: It was something they could actually change...Stern and Wu proposed refashioning it, using a set of instructional pictograms loosely inspired by Ikea booklets. They tested several prototypes and endured baffled responses from Citi Bike users until eventually landing on a gridlike arrangement of visuals that people found intuitive.