creative juice / ux + design

parking sign redesign


User Experience Design is pretty much everywhere—even parking signs, for example. Have you ever gotten a ticket due to a confusing sign?

According to an article in Wired, Brooklyn-based designer Nikki Sylianteng was tired of racking up parking tickets, and decided to take matters into her own hands.

The article states, “She began thinking about how she might be able to solve this problem through design. She realized that with just a little more focus on usability, parking signs could actually be useful. ‘I’m not setting out to change the entire system,’ she says. ‘It’s just something that I thought would help frustrated drivers.’”

Take a look at the original sign on the left. Note how confusing this would be to an urban driver. Sylianteng simplified the information into one easy-to-read sign.

Parking Signs

Sylianteng explains her thought process on her website. “My strategy was to visualize the blocks of time when parking is allowed and not allowed. I kept everything else the same – the colors and the form factor – as my intention with this redesign is to show how big a difference a thoughtful, though conservative and low budget, approach can make in terms of time and stress saved for the driver. I tried to stay mindful of the constraints that a large organization like the Department of Transportation must face for a seemingly small change such as this.”

Sylianteng ran her own user testing by posting the signs herself and asking the public to comment.


The wired article states, “Sylianteng has been going around Manhattan and Brooklyn hanging up rogue revamped parking signs. ‘A friend of mine called it functional graffiti,’ she says. She’ll stick a laminated version right below the city-approved version and ask drivers to leave comments. In that way, Sylianteng’s design is still a ways away from being a reality, but so far, she’s gotten pretty good feedback. “One person wrote: ‘This is awesome. The mayor should hire you.’”

To read the full article on the Wired website, follow this link:

Visit Nikki Sylianteng’s website:

Check out our other articles on UX out and about:

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ux on vacation: the airport

ux design gone to the dogs

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