Week 3

RGY Arduino digital input and output

During this week we developed a series of circuits which involved connecting buttons and LEDs to an Arduino Nano 33 iot. This week’s project consisted of developing something which would allow me to control something physical and on the screen which related to each other.

The Idea

The device consists of three colored LED lights and three buttons connected to an Arduino. Each button is colored red, blue or yellow. Each corresponds to a light with the same color.

When you press a button, the Arduino receives a digital signal and turns on the light according to color. Additionally, the Arduino communicates with P5 to print the chosen color on the screen.

The Result

Project schematic.
Project schematic.
Arduino Nano connected to three buttons and three LED lights on a breadboard with jumper cables.
Arduino Nano connected to three buttons and three LED lights on a breadboard with jumper cables.

The Video

Code Repositories

New York City's MTA device analysis

New York MTA
Image taken from : https://nypost.com/2017/10/10/metrocard-machines-across-nyc-still-on-the-fritz/

Assumptions on how its being used, describe the context in which its being used.

The MTA subway device (I will refer to it as MTAD from now on) is present in every subway station in New York City, made for the single use of allowing people to pay for their subway fare.

How they use it, what they do differently, difficulties, easy parts.

The main interface is the touch screen incorporated in the MTAD. Through the touch screen users have several options that include purchasing a new metro card, or filling up one the user already has. In case the user does not have a card, the interface provides options which include different amounts for the user to purchase: a single-ride option, a single-day use card, a monthly-use card, or a custom amount to fill up the card with.

The device has labeled sections (in English) across it’s frontal panel indicating where to insert coins, bills, credit or ATM cards.  It also includes a change and receipt tray, as well as a slot for inserting your metro card or receiving a single-ride card.  For a user who speaks English I would consider the interface to be pretty straightforward.

As I was in the Halsey Street Station in Bushwick, I noticed most people used the recharge option for a card they already possessed. I would bet this is because most people that use this specific station live around the area. I believe in Manhattan I probably would have seen more people buying a single-day use or single ride kind of option due to the amount of turists.

What takes the longest, what takes the least amount of time.

When people use credit or ATM cards they seem to take more because of the time required to confirm the transaction. Inserting a PIN and typing in your Zip code takes time.

How long the whole transaction takes.

In general, people spend less than a minute handling the device, unless they use a credit or debit card. This usually adds up to another minute to the whole process.

Reflecting on Norman’s book “The Design of Everyday Things”we can analyze the MTAD from a System Image perspective, the conceptual model we use to handle the machine from the moment we glance at it is similar to the one we handle when we use an ATM. The device itself is designed with a very similar form and use in mind: You use money (cash or cards) to retrieve an amount of credit for your Metrocard.

Thanks for reading!