The Information to Get Around

The MRT system is key to getting around in Singapore, and as it gets more complex, the need for clear information about train lines becomes more important.

We therefore took a look at SMRT’s in-train screens to see how they can better serve users - local commuters and foreign visitors alike.

Note: This is a self-initiated project of the SMRT in-train screens. You can see a more detailed explanation of our design at our blog.


Industry: Transport

Scope: User Interviews, Contextual Inquiry, Content Strategy, Prototyping, UI Design

Observing Users

People from all walks of life take the MRT, but we wanted to know more about who uses the screens, and what they pay the most attention to.

As it turns out, for SMRT users, less is definitely more. They really want just two things from the screen: where they are, and how far to their destination.

What they do expect, though, is speed. They want to understand their location and distance fast. If it takes more than a glance, they ignore the screen.


Analysing the Screens

Since the content needs are simple, we had to consider how the in-train screens provide that information. Among some issues we identified:


People really had just two needs from the MRT screens: to find out where they are, and to find out how far they are from the destination.


While the screens provide this information, users expect this information at a glance. If it’s not available, they will just use their phones, or check the MRT map.


Where users are concerned, information like the landmarks is irrelevant to their needs. Surprisingly this is true even of tourists; presumably they already know which station to visit from guides and other sources of information.


Our Solutions

New Info Layout

Our vertical layout emphasises readability, and a clear relationship between each station. Where you are, and where you are headed - at a glance.

Less is More

Fewer details can mean fewer distractions. When you have three seconds to look at a station map, just the basic information is enough to prime commuters.

Timely Information

A key function that the screens do not provide is of service disruptions. We include this, to allow passengers to plan their routes accordingly.