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99% Invisible-49- Queue Theory and Design

2012-03-08 | 🔗

In the US, it’s called a line. In Canada, it’s often referred to as a line-up. Pretty much everywhere else, it’s known as a queue. My friend Benjamen Walker is obsessed with queues. He keeps sending me YouTube clips of … Continue reading →

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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had a conversation about police for five minutes until I realise what they were its occupants, but pretty much everywhere else, it's known as a cue cue, the best amateur. That's Benjamin Walker, peace obsessed with huge heaps enemy emails with links to Youtube videos of Q. You have psychology, students filming their surreptitious q experiments. You have Asian row, rage videos, you ve got people filming fights that break out in care of me nothing's going to happen I do not another son, I like to call you to queue hole and when I found this
sure by Doktor Q. I immediately made an appointment to go and see him and Dick Larsen professor them. I t guess my nickname is doctor. Q Dick Larsen is a cue theorist. Just about every day we experienced queuing in some aspects of our lives declares in studies, the mathematical and psychological models of queuing systems. Unfortunately often times too many cues on a day to day basis, doktor cues able to put his professional knowledge to work everywhere. He goes. I have my own ways through supermarkets, particularly if you got to go to the della counter and get a number you run
the delay counters and if you go into a supermarket, get your number and then you start walkin around and doing the regular shopping and you watch other numbers go drop down and then, as soon as it gets close two years, then you go back. So that's a cue. That's been avoided because a secure within a cue, so I have little little ideas like this doctor Q hates waiting in line as much as you and I do, but he does respect the well designed Q. Machiavellian exports of Q design are people with this new world and those they providence. They have mastered the idea that people can be happy waiting. Forty minutes in line four four minute ride, I think it spent asked disney- is very serious about Q design they employ about eighteen or so operations. Researchers that calm imagine ears. These imagine ears have mastered the golden rules of Q design. The first is to keep your customers.
Entertained. While I wait in line their guests think that the amusement has started before they actually sit in the ride will have video screens along the Q route with games and if the lines are getting really ugly, a park manager will send in a sweaty man a full body costume, and so there entertain and their amused Waller waited in line. The second rule manage expectations, always manage your expectations such that you deliver above the performance. You say so, for instance, if the line says you can anticipate forty five minute wait for if the line is out to this point, when really it might be the only thirty five minutes. So, therefore, if you look at your watch and forty five, to get it on the line and other than the dagger in them, and the two kids hey we're ten minutes ahead of schedule. That's great! You waited
forty five minutes- and you say we just save ten minutes, because we thought we would have to wait for forty five minutes. Q theories about a hundred years old now, but it wasn't until the nineteen fifty that the profession really came into its own after world war. Two there were saved by burst of economic activity, a lot more high rise buildings, highrise hotels and offices, and all of a sudden owners of these buildings were getting complaints about rush hour. The ways were elevators in those days. Of course, they didn't have microprocessors due to optimize the movement of the elevators. Many the element is actually had humans as operators as pilots speak. So Russia, coffee, was a professor university Pennsylvania's sent one of his research age too, near city. To check out these complaints about elevate, the ways- and indeed he found out that there were rush hours for elevators, like eighty nine in the morning or five to six at night, just like rush hour for cars. So he said the traditional engineering approach dynamite, this building
an overgrown with twice as many elevator shaft, because you ve got more demand than you have capacity these rush hours. In my experience, There's a lot more crafty led the let's. Let's just go it, but then in a stroke of genius he said. Well, maybe the problem is framed the wrong way. Maybe the problem isn't the ninety seconds of wait for the elevators. Maybe the problem is the complaints about the ninety second waits for the elevators. If we can, reduce the complaints substantially. Maybe we will solve the problem and then another stroke of genius. Is it my? What if you give somebody a distraction, a diversion? Let's try floor to ceiling mirrors next to all the elevators in an experimental building, so you got the money, but the mirrors in watched for a month
So what the complaints dropped. A near zero men who are wearing ties could adjust. Their ties of women could make sure their hair was organized, ok or vice versa. Sometimes many women even seem to flirt occasionally through the reflection. I guess it's less provocative. Denied eye contact to complaints dropped in near zero problem solved the statistics of delay, edged, ingenious mirrors, won't work having towns are whole foods, though many fast redress. And most grocery stores use parallel cues, where there's a job open lanes and your forced to pick one and stick with it. The one x you could be going fast therefore any number of reasons- and it's totally frustrating but you stay in your line and you play the hinder dealt, but there is another way to do it: single serpentine line that feeds all of the open registers. Its first come first served its a cue designed for equality,
in fairness and when there's one line, both blatant an inadvertent q jumping is minimized, we call them slips and skips in american companies. They used to pride themselves on designing these more egalitarian cues. When these is very proud that there, the once in fast food that has a single serpentine line. American airlines is very proud. They claimed that there were the first ones have single forbidden lighted airports. Although british air argues with them, they say while they they got at the same time these to be a bank in New York or Chemical Bank, and they used to claim that they were the first ones to have that in their bank lobbies and so there's a certain pride to getting rid of inadvertent line jumping by slips and skipped. By heavens,
A single serpentine lie, but today Q Design is changing more and more were encountering cues that are designed to that. Different levels of service can be provided to different groups of people, priority queues and given certain people priorities over others, you can see it in amusements like like Disney, but more seriously. It occurs in some life and death situations like queuing for organ donation transplants. My. Hypothesis, is that this design change is connected to the queue rage is becoming more and more commonplace and available to watch for free on Youtube, and I also believe that understanding this new q theory will better help us understand the
quality and disparity. That's on the rise in this country, you might say by white, is why should somebody with a lot of frequent flyer miles good? We automatically bumped up to first class, as I found out, I recently was on some flights and therefore have to think it escaped. The t s sake, you fought for in airports, and I feel a little but guilty about that. And then just yesterday. I did this twice and- and I felt a little bit guilty because her like thirty people online and I went right in front of it, and I thought why is this fair just because I fly LE but want more than the others do? And so I think your question is: is a deep one and requires a more and more thought and discussion. Ninety nine percent, invisible, was produced this week by Benjamin Walker, Emmy Roman, might try to table Benjamin Water again too much information for maybe have him. You understand
we'll make your life better. This is a project of a W. Ninety one point: seven local public radio in San Francisco and the american Ensue architects in San Francisco this programme, as it should be. By p r acts. The public radio exchange, making public radio more public find out more appear ex dot org, as we can Three week, I'm aided and abetted by SAM Greenspan working all the way over in Baltimore Maryland Home of the third best city flag in the country. Look it up a good one, You can find the show like the show on Facebook, I tweet at Roman Mars noises catch up with us and tell us your cue stories.
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-15.