New Feature: Animation

An example of a TransitScreen with both LEED certification and a walk score of 100.

One of our long-term goals is to improve the design quality of information in buildings and other public spaces. Our designers keep abreast of trends, sweat the details, and test the usability of the results — like our new Futura theme, which was recently rolled out to all our customers.

Futura was always planned to support animation as a feature. Every time a bus departs, its information slowly disappears from the screen and is replaced with the prediction for the next bus. Check it out below; we’ve sped the video up to save you time. In real life, changes only happen a few times per minute.

With this update, we’re making our displays more dynamic than ever. Our information has always been real-time, but now its liveness is emphasized and easier to see. It’s live, like the classic train station departure board recently replaced at New York’s Penn Station, but intended for modern digital screens rather than being tied to the past.

It avoids the problem with replacing the screen all at once, which is change blindness – the neuroscience fact that if you flash-replace one picture with a slightly changed picture, people won’t notice the changes. Our animations are meant to combat this by making it clear which information on the screen is new, slowly sliding into place instead of appearing all at once. The arrival times pass each other just like the real-life buses they represent, each getting closer to the stop name on the screen as they get closer to the stop on the physical street corner.

Our new animations implement the principles of calm technology: they are informative but not burdensome, occurring at the periphery rather than artificially grabbing your attention. The aim is to create a pleasant, high quality user experience.

We’ll be adding animation to many of our existing screens in the coming months. For the best quality experience, recent TransitBox hardware is required. If you purchased a TransitBox after November 15, 2016, you will be getting animation automatically. If you purchased a TransitBox prior to this and are interested in having your property upgraded, please contact us at support@transitscreen.com.