BC Ferries Paging System Evaluation
As part of a large scale way-finding evaluation project for BC Ferries, we worked with Karo Design Resource in providing paging system evaluations for five ferry terminals.
One of the challenges of delivering any qualitative report in a quantitative fashion is the tremendous difficulty in having the consumers of the report relate the numeric test and measurement results to any relevant personal experience. We decided not to perform extensive tests and intelligibility measurements, producing reams of data showing %ALCons or STI values that may have no reference for the readers. We decided to produce an audible record of the paging system performance and draw our comments and recommendations from the observed conditions.
We made binuaral recordings of standard announcements at various locations in each terminal. We generally identified the areas that had the poorest intelligibility to document the worst problem areas, while identifying how extensive the problem was in each terminal. When these binuaral recordings are heard using headphones it is possible to identify the direction of competing noise sources, identify the loudspeaker position in relation to the listening positions, the direction of multiple arrivals and hear other problems with the sound system such as inadequate level, inadequate bandwidth, inadequate signal to noise etc.
We used plans of each terminal to locate the recording positions so that the report can be indexed to cuts on the audio CD's provided for inclusion with the printed report copies produced by Karo Design. We also developed an HTML version of our report, complete with audio files, linked to clickable image maps so that the report can be located on BCFC's server for internal distribution, and experienced in a more interactive manner.
The recommendations provided outline issues with the acoustical environments that the systems operate in, as well as issues with the paging systems themselves. We identify both general and specific solutions to problems. We also reviewed message content and delivery to identify issues that relate to message effectiveness with the existing paging system and acoustical problems.
Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc
323 - 901 West 3rd Street, North Vancouver, BC. V7P 3P9 Ph 604-986-8181