Recently I spent the day at an amusement park. After our group had gone on one of the coasters, we immediately headed for the place where you can see photos of yourselves on the rides. The photos were displayed on small little screens so you could decide if you wanted to buy it or not.
I got out my phone to take a photo of the screen – because I wanted to post an Instagram of the photo. I didn’t want the terrible quality little photo print-out they give you in a tacky cardboard envelope! But then, then, someone pointed out to me a big sign that said, “it is a federal offense to take photos of your photos” … oops!
Immediately, I thought about the whole user experience of amusement park photos. It could use a serious overhaul. Honestly, do you really want to carry around photos you buy? Nope. And besides, what you really want is a digital photo that you can share on social media. So this got me thinking …
When you get off a ride at an amusement park, there should be a way for you to purchase the photo digitally. There are a lot of ways to do this. The amusement park could have a dedicated app. But, another way to do it would be to just have a number that people could text, along with a code that would be next to their photo. Then, upon texting that number, the person would receive a link back to a simple mobile payment form. Seems pretty simple to me. And I bet a lot more people would purchase the photos if they were available immediately and in digital format.
I wanted to tell you this story because it’s an example of how we’re surrounded by a lot of experience that could use a design overhaul. But, it’s up to us to see those invisible problems to begin with. Let’s face it, there isn’t anything wrong with how amusement parks sell roller coaster photos right now. But, re-thinking the experience could make it a lot better, and maybe could result in more sales.
If you want to get more practice with design, don’t wait for problems to fall into your lap. Great designers are always scanning and scouting their surroundings to see how design could help improve every day experiences.