After establishing our new team, Innivatio, our first group task was to redesign a service or experience. Restaurants, cafe’s and shops were all suggested but after walking the town we decided to explore Kingston Market.
While walking past a sign saying ‘lemonade £1’ we established the issue of having to use cash to pay for items bought at the market. To buy a product the user must find what they want on the menu, walk to the cash points to withdraw money, then return to the same stall to pay. After speaking with customers and vendors we established that in a society that’s favours cashless systems and a speedy service this market payment process was old and outdated.
This sparked the idea of developing a centralised payment system. After envisioning a series of different systems; including coupons and tokens, we decided to replicate the self-service checkout style found in supermarkets and combine it with an Oyster card style system used for travel. This hybrid system involves a series of ‘self checkout’ payment areas in front of the market stalls. Users can walk around the market, identify which food they want and pay for it directly outside of market stall without having to withdraw cash or walk to a secondary location. The machines will take cash, card or the markets version of a ‘oyster card’ – a card with prepaid amounts of money which provides the user with deals and discounts on select foods. The order will then go through to the market stall and they can provide an estimated time of service. Users can watch their food being prepared or take a seat in the central seating area. This system prevents queues from forming around the market area and create more of a sense of community. The freshly cooked food is served in real-time.
Original structure of the market space
The second problem we identified related to circulation and the ability for customers to take a seat after purchasing a meal. Watching passers-by we observed that some of the market stalls were placed in front of the alley way entrances, so blocked users path to rest of the market and that the bottom half of the market space was unused. In light of these observations we redesigned the space so a seating area could exist in the centre of the market and so that users could move more freely and easily around the space.
The new design for the market space
Overall the new system provides a faster service, prevents queuing, encourages a sense of community and still allows customers to interact with the market stall vendors. As part of this new system the market space must be architecturally redesigned; below are the new designs.