We are a team of students from Olin College of Engineering in Needham MA working on a project for the class Human Factors and Interface Design, taught by Lynn Stein in Spring 2009. Our project prompt is to build an interface or device that will improve the experience of being a pedestrian in an unfamiliar urban environment.

Who are we?

Team Mango Tango is four students from Olin College of Engineering working on our Human Factors and Interface Design class. Our project prompt is to make an interface that will improve the experience of being a pedestrian in an unfamiliar urban environment. This website lays out the process that we have taken in creating this interface.

Introduction to the Problem

Team Mango Tango is investigating how people navigate in unknown urban environments. Specifically, we want to learn how people figure out where they want to go, and how they figure out how to get there. Navigating an unfamiliar city is a difficult problem for tourists, new residents, and business travelers alike. There are currently a number of solutions to this problem, namely GPS and atlases, but they have a number of problems. Often, someone might know what they want to do, or a kind of food they'd like to eat, but not where to go. Some smart phones have search functionality combined with GPS, but that solution is typically not optimal for various reasons, particularly the "urban valley" effect on GPS. Atlases are another solution, but lack a notion of "you are here, and here's how to get to your destination." We hope to tackle a specific problem in the area of navigation and provide a coherent, reasonable interface solution.