Making Flemish roads flow better

Client: Verkeerscentrum Vlaanderen
Design Agency: Namahn
Location: Belgium

Verkeerscentrum Vlaanderen optimizing its communication by re-designing the traffic management system, user interface and control room layout

What was the problem?

Verkeerscentrum Vlaanderen monitors the Flemish highway traffic to ensure reliability of traffic jam information. Operators in the Traffic Control Centre also guide traffic in real time by managing the dynamic road signalizations. Verkeerscentrum Vlaanderen expanded rapidly the last decade, and this meant that a thorough review of its processes and control systems was required. Smooth communication was also important, both between traffic controllers and with the police. As each traffic controller was responsible for a different region of Flanders, when a traffic jam moved from West Flanders to East Flanders, the traffic controller needed to pass the information on to his or her colleague. Another issue was passing information between the 3-person night shift and the 11-person day shift. Verkeerscentrum Vlaanderen sought to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its traffic controllers, individually and as a team, both by re-designing the user interface of the traffic management system and by re-thinking the layout and workflows within the traffic control centre.

What did they do?

Service design company Namahn was asked to re-design the user interface of the traffic monitoring system and to optimize the layout of the control room. Namahn started its analysis by carefully studying how traffic controllers work. They meticulously mapped information flows in the system and between traffic controllers. After this, the service designers developed user scenarios to test assumptions and a conceptual design of screens and the layout of the control room, as well as specifications. A mock-up of the new control room layout was created and tested in this way.

What was the result?

The re-designed traffic management system and new control room layout enable traffic controllers to work more efficiently, both within the team and with the police. The legacy applications to be integrated now share interaction patterns and information design, making it easier for controllers to learn quickly how to use them. Also, Namahn produced a style guide, to make it easier to integrate traffic monitoring tools in the future.

Contact

To find out more about this case study please contact Kristel Van Ael at Namahn.

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