Queue Timer

The concept *Queue Timer* centers around the simplicity of a kitchen timer. With the simple twisting of the shopping cart handlebar you are able to “make an appointment” with the supermarket check-out. If your visit takes a longer or shorter time than planned, you can reset it to fit your needs.

All shopping carts and their attached Queue Timers are connected to the same wireless system, that also communicates when peaks of customers are checking out, thereby making it possible for customers to use their time more efficiently than constraint in a queue. Queue Timer seeks to create a shared understanding of the mutual dependency relationship between customer and supermarket, and to create a more efficient and mutual beneficial system for all actors.

The theme of the People Centered Research course was **trust**.

We chose to focus on queue culture in society as an expression of trust in a abstract public system that we all know and frequently engage in. This topic proved both challenging and educational, and demanded hours of observation and interviews before we reached an adequate level of understanding.

After numerous iterations of brainstorms, rapid prototyping and in-the-wild testing, we developed a final prototype described above.

Before reaching to this concept, we have done brainstorming, observation, interviews, field sketch, service blueprint, creating personas, and prototyping.

Based on our observations and interviews, we reached an understanding of “rules” in queue culture on which participants oblige when engaging in a queue structure. These rules are in our opinion an expression of interpersonal trust on a systematic level. The system is self-sustaining by instantiating social “reprisals”, in case of trespassing.

We also learned that the experience of queuing the individual, but mostly negative. This knowledge made us seek to improve the system by the means of interaction design.

The quick video prototype shows our testing process in a supermarket.