Author Archives: waiting365

This small exercise was to create personas. From the initial field visits and understanding the scenarios of waiting. We also on a parallel side listed down the different types of people that were the stakeholders in that scenario of waiting. And that became our starting point to create a basic map of these small characteristics, that when used in different combinations can create different personas for waiting in a context and how different persona’s waiting experiences differ and needs to be addressed.

DSC_0431 copySo things like gender, age, economic status, education, and other things affect the experience of waiting in any context. For example, the waiting experience of an old man, whose economic status is middle class, and is of a particular caste and has a particular status of literacy. His experience of waiting for a train will be different than a Woman, with a small kid, whose economic status is different and her education and literacy levels are different from the man.




Visits to the mall and the food courts to understand how people behave in a slightly developed and structured system that has been highly affected by the West. And how people behave in the structured queues.

The food court in the mall was in the L shaped formation with the sitting area in the centre square formation as shown in the image above. The shops on the periphery. And one has to issue a smart card by depositing a certain amount of money. And use that card to buy food from different places.2013-08-28 19.25.38

  • Three card dispenser counters, all of them had unstructured queues.
  • People piling against the counter.
  • People were reinforcing their position to have the first turn by calling the service provider and by gestures like showing the money.
  • Shy people or people who don’t like much hustle are left behind. Cause on has to really fight to be the first .

In the Elevator scenario;

2013-08-28 19.21.54We observed the GIGO phenomenon if this case. There are a lot of people who are lazy to walk around the mall to go from one floor to another. So they like to take the elevator. And there are less elevators as compared to the volume of the people. So one as to wait for their chance.

GIGO- Guys In Guys Out is when people don’t wait for the people to come out of the bus or elevator or a room and try to enter the space through the same door at the same time people are coming out.

KFC and Subway;

  • Here in these fast-food joints the service is pretty fast and there are structured queues to wait in. But in case of Subway that was lacking.
  • People tend to stand on the side instead of a vertical line. Curiosity kills their patient.
  • They feel abandoned when the service provider doesn’t give them attention. And they seem a bit angry.
  • People dont stand behind each other. Rather stand in chunks and wandering, talking, playing with the phone, etc. But their feet are generally pointing in the direction of the service.
  • In KFC people join the line once they are sure of what they want.

These were some of the initial observations of the people in this scenario.

We visited the Main terminus of Ahmedabad on the first visit to observe the behaviour of people at the bus stops. Visited Lal Darwaza which is located in the old city side of Ahmedabad and most buses go through that terminus while changing the localities of the city.

There are two major bus services in the city of Ahmedabad. AMTS and BRTS.

And we also visited many individual stops where people wait for the bus. And we found a lot of interesting observations.

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The above images are from the Lal Darwaza terminus.

We spent hours sitting at bus stops and observing various activities. This was just initial visits to understand waiting. And mapping those as shown below.


We mapped all kinds of people that use the service and categorise them based on some factors that will be shared later. We also mapped the behaviour of people and how it changes with age. Most old people, experienced and use mostly the bus service to travel, are more patient while waiting. Whereas the young people who are also using this service to travel to school and colleges are a bit anxious about the arrival of the bus.

People generally look on the right side hoping to see the glimpse of the coming bus number. And when there is no bus visible, they just see in that direction hoping for a bus. People who are less patient keep changing their seats.

Mobile phones serve as good distractions for the young generation people. Where a other tend to fixate on things and just wander while waiting. The alertness of people reaches its peak when the bus enters the terminus, everyone has their eyes on to the bus looking for the bus number. People try to predict and move on to the road hoping to be the first one onto the bus, because the bus only stops for a few seconds. Maximum 10-12 seconds. So there is always a fear of missing the bus and having to wait for more time. Thus people fight for their turn and the queuing is very unstructured while getting onto the bus.

People who can not afford any other means of transportation tend to wait for the bus. But people who can afford it and are ignorant about spending money, abandon the wait and take either a rickshaw or share a rickshaw.

First timers are the most anxious and always on their toes. Asking people and reconfirming the information from different sources.

At the Paldi terminus saw a very interesting thing. Some cops taking a petty thief in handcuffs by the bus to some other police station. One of the officers was carrying a semiautomatic rifle. And they were also a part of the same unstructured queue that gets on the bus. And other people didn’t get bothered by this, they were still fighting for their turn first to get on the bus.

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This is the bus stop where the GSTRC buses that take people from one city to another city.2013-08-27 15.40.53#1 2013-08-27 15.40.31#1


Here the waiting behaviour is a bit different. People have no choice but to take the bus. So they decide to wait and the abandonment of the wait is very very rare.

These are just some initial observations.

DSC_0405 copyThroughout this week we worked on understand the Psychology of Waiting and all the principles of waiting. Queuing metrics and other case studies of how humans perceive waiting. Taking into consideration everything from physical queuing, virtual queuing, active queuing and passive queuing. From waiting in line at a supermarket to waiting for a website to load. And also identifying scenarios where people wait in a public domain. And in the Indian context.

DSC_0572These are some of the info-graphics obtained online from sources that adds value to understanding the psychology of waiting.

DSC_0573Above are some of the Principles for Waiting in Line. So here we are trying to understand what things we should keep in mind while designing solutions in any domain. Things like, emotions dominate, so the solution should facilitate positive mood and very positive emotions throughout the domain. Because negative vibes are contagious and can spread very easily. Things like Eliminate confusion, End strong-Start strong, Memory is more important than the experience etc. All these factors are important while generating solutions.

DSC_0576 copyWhen we go out to observe people who are waiting or study the whole queue and how its behaving in a particular scenario, this Queuing Metrics is what we have to keep in mind and cross check. So these points help us connect or find a common pattern or common behaviour of people waiting in different domains or scenarios.

DSC_0579 copyFrom the context that was created in the previous workshop, where people came up with scenarios that they have been in and had to wait, we created a list of places and subsystems in those places where people have to wait for their objective to be fulfilled. Before visiting any place we listed down assumptions and then went to see for ourselves whether they hold ground. Hence we listed down all the types of waits and queues we could foresee in each scenario. And we visited all these places to observe waiting and experience waiting.

DSC_0577Some very interesting characteristics of people’s behaviour in the Indian scenario of waiting in line. These are some issues that are unique in nature and needs to be tackled. The solutions need to be smart and specific to this context. Not to take an existing successful system from abroad and just apply here. That doesn’t always result into a positive change.

DSC_0580 DSC_0581

Some case studies and pointers.

DSC_0582Images are a good triggers to start a though process. So we put up images of all the examples or scenarios of waiting that we come across. And some small solutions that people have applied have worked successfully to a good extent.

(One day workshop)

Originated from social planning to describe a problem that didn’t have a particular meaning or it was too difficult or impossible to solve it because of the complexity of its layers of stakeholders, contradictory and everchanging requirements. And a problem whose characteristics are difficult to recognize or identify.

The objective of this workshop was to apply mapping to wicked problems that we have experienced or the ones that we have heard about. So first few hours of the workshop was to sit and map different kinds of wicked problems._DSC0006

So looking at some examples from the sheet above. Topics like Education in India, Dam construction, Division of states, Global warming, Green technology, Allocation of resources, Agricultural land taken for urban development, spying on information for national security, economic issues, international loans, free trade and so on. These are the topics that have certain wicked problems.


That is us discussing the wicked problems and mapping them.


Vikas guiding us through the mapping and how to pick wicked problems.

DSC07447Presenting the wicked problems. And getting feedback on them.

Later half of the day was to go one step deeper into each of the wicked problems and try to reason why such problem exist and what is its current scenario. What are the factors that create such wicked problems.

_DSC0013 _DSC0012 _DSC0011 _DSC0009 _DSC0008 2013-08-02 18.56.25These are a few examples of how we sourced more information on those wicked problems and then kept adding that information onto the main sheet containing wicked problems. Making the whole thing progressive.

Next phase was to come up with some solutions or ideas that can help improve the wicked problems. This is a system followed, one card with a title space, illustration space and a description space. So all the ideas are illustrated and put up as shown.2013-08-02 18.56.38


Then all the other group members go around looking at other ideas or solutions and rating them using coloured post its. Hrishi taking that job very seriously.

DSC07540Listening to the concepts or ideas or solutions being presented by others.

DSC07533Ending the workshops with healthy debates.

(One day exercise)

_DSC0003 _DSC0002 _DSC0001 _DSC0005Second exercise is to understand a system.

It can be either an open system, closed system, virtual, physical, public domain, small scale, perishable short period system or some thing that has lasted for centuries.

For our exercise we chose Spotify.

Spotify is a commercial music streaming service. It provides Digital Rights Management protected content from record labels. It was launched for public access on 7 October 2008. It originated from Sweden. Developed by a team at Spotify AB in Stockholm. Company founded by Daniel EK and Martin Lorentzon.

So we basically mapped information taking Spotify as a starting point. Zooming out and looking at music distribution at a macro level. Understanding has it has changed over the period of time. Also mapping anything and everything relevant to the back hand system of Spotify to provide uninturrepted streaming of online music. And not let it get labelled as music piracy. It is still in a grey area of whether it is a fair trade for the music artists or not. Thus making this a very interesting topic to map.

This exercise of mapping covers as much information that could be mapped. From its origin and what led to the concept of Spotify. The actual system of online streaming of music through your account in the countries where Spotify is available. Also the laws that allow online streaming of music in particular countries. And why other countries do not allow. Things like news articles about Spotify. Experiences of users and also point of views of music artists and Music labels. And everything was varied. Everyone had different views. Information from info graphics comparing Spotify to other means of music distribution. Monetary issues, moral and ethical issues, political issues, cultural and social issues related to this whole trend of music streaming. Also mapping all the stakeholders that are affected by this system.

The objective of this exercise was to apply information mapping of an existing system and understand the complexities of a system and the layers of information that is related to the system. And interlinking of subjects of that system.


HowStuffWorks “How Spotify Works”

HowStuffWorks “How the Pirate Bay Works”

Spotify – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Digital rights management – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Utah Local News – Salt Lake City News, Sports, Archive – The Salt Lake Tribune

How Spotify’s Business Works – Business Insider

How Spotify Works – Business Insider

How Spotify Works – Business Insider

What’s this Spotify thing all about? –

BBC News – Spotify launches US streaming music service

Spotify Technology: How Spotify Works | Pansentient League


How Does Spotify Pay Artists? Interview with Spotify’s D.A. Wallach | Music Business and Trend Mongering

Why Spotify Doesn’t Make Sense for Musicians: 70,000 Listens Earns Less Than $300 – Robinson Meyer – The Atlantic

spotify backend process – Google Search

backend services | Spotify Labs

Backend Infrastructure Engineer – Jobs – Spotify

Spotify: Data center & Backend buildout

Spotify: Horizontal scalability for great success — EuroPython 2013: Florence, July 1–7

Python Programming Language – Official Website

spotify legal issues – Google Search

Spotify v illegal downloads: Free but legal | The Economist

Is Spotify unfair to musicians? | The Audiophiliac – CNET News

3 Reasons Spotify May Never Be the OS of Music – MTT – Music Think Tank

Daily Infographic | A New Infographic Every Day | Data Visualization, Information Design and Infographics

(One day exercise)

\\Example of mapping of stories and incidents. A bit chaotic, i confess.

|\\|Shailendra sharing his own stories that he has mapped.

|||Hrishikesh sharing his stories.

\\\\People listening to the interesting facts about Hrishi’s life.

\\\Hrishi’s mapping of his life.

An exercise to get used to the concept of mapping information is to start with your own life.Thus this small one day assignment of mapping important incidents of your life.

So everyone mapped some personal incidents, stories that other people didn’t know or whatever one wanted to share with others.

Everyone’s way of mapping was different. One can see the flow of information in certain mappings. Some were radial in manner, some chaotic and others were structured. Very interesting to see how people had put down information. A fun exercise to do because all the information is already in your head. No need to research and source information. Just to get the gist of mapping, self mapping is a fun and quick way to start.