How might a Bicycle User Experience (BUX) look in practice? The BUX Blog will be exploring 7 pieces of existing infrastructure that represent user experience and usability principles. So far, we have looked at The Hovenring, a Disco Tunnel, the UC Davis Campus, and the Bronx River Greenway. The fifth piece of infrastructure will be the Rijksmuseum.
The Rijksmuseum Passageway is an underpass that goes through a popular Dutch art and history museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It is both a functional route for locals going to and from the city center and a landmark and attraction onto itself. Glass allows people riding by to peer into the museum and street musicians add to the atmosphere. The Museumplein, a major public plaza, is nearby.
The video below, by BicycleDutch, does an amazing job of showcasing the atmosphere of the Rijksmuseum Passageway. Everyday people relaxedly ride by, a dad and child stop to listen to music, and the museum's architecture serves as a stunning backdrop.
How is the experience of riding a bike for an everyday person here? Does the Rijksmuseum provide a Bicycle User Experience (BUX)? To systematically investigate this we will employ a heuristic evaluation, which utilizes design heuristics to measure how easy and pleasant something is to use.
The heuristic evaluation above describes the findings- overall, the Rijksmuseum scores very well and is easy to use. It is intuitive to navigate and is consistent with a high signal to noise ratio. It is accessible to all types of people, provides user control and is forgiving of human error. Still, there are occasional conflicts on the path and visibility is imperfect on the approach to the stoplight in front of the museum, which can lead to some uncertainty.
Riding through the Rijksmuseum is a truly unique experience. As a piece of infrastructure that is simultaneously memorable, enjoyable and highly functional, the passageway epitomizes cycling user experience.
Up next, a "fast cycle route" that minimizes stress and the amount of times people have to stop: the RijnWaalpad.
Bicycle Passage Rijksmuseum 1: https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/bicycle-underpass-rijksmuseum-amsterdam/
Bicycle Passage Rijksmuseum 2: https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/the-bicycle-passage-of-the-amsterdam-rijksmuseum/
10 unmissable Rijksmuseum highlights: https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/see-and-do/things-to-do/museums-and-galleries/top-10-rijksmuseum-highlights
Video of Rijksmuseum Bicycle Underpass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAQEvIUuCvY