I am constantly considering the human user aspects of applications and systems. How do I bolster activity and desired interactions? How can I help the user achieve their intended goal for using the application? I think this focus on human interaction bleeds over to another subject matter: urban design. As a designer, it seems critical that we consider the areas we inhabit or tend to visit more frequently, and how these areas bolster or hinder our social activity. I'm curious, so I took some time to reflect on the design of two well-known local areas. Software designers work to maximize an application's usability. But what makes a city space well-designed for human interaction and "usability"? What elements should be included? Retail? Restaurants? Sidewalks? I would argue that all are important. But how should they be distributed? Let’s start by looking at a notable area right here in Saint Louis: the Delmar Loop.
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