Design changes in S-Bahn stations influence our behaviour. How does an underground station for public transport work? How do we behave in clearly arranged rooms during the orientation process? How do we overcome visual barriers? With seven exemplary S-Bahn stations, different station characteristics can be tested during an orientation process. In a cognitive-psychological test in VR, 16 test persons were guided through 7 station simulations. Data from 12 participants were used for the evaluation. For the explorative route analysis, the data of 9 study participants were used per ward. In each station there was an orientation task. In some stations the aim was to reach a certain area on the right platform. In other station simulations the task was to find the right exit from the station.
The stations follow a numerical code which is from the work process. Designed a total of 10 stations, were implemented six designs. Therefore there are versions 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
The station names Version 2,5,6,7,8,9 are the resulting working titles.
Position tracking in VR generated maps with walking paths of study participants. These superimposed maps showed the most frequented areas of the S-Bahn station.
Version 2
The task in Version 2: "Find the exit to City Hall."
From bottom to top - How to find your way out of an underground S-Bahn station? What signs are used to detect of an output or for the correct output?

The design features of the station:
confusing station due to central wall
centrally oriented platform
stylistically old-fashioned
monotonous platform
complex staircase from the platform to the B-level
unusual platform
low ceiling on the platform
long undefinable tunnel in the B level
Version 5
The task: "Go to the waiting area in front of the DB shop on the B level at the Marktplatz exit."
From below to the B-level - Complex orientation tasks increase the quantity of search processes.

The design features of the station:
bright and clearly arranged
clearly structured waiting areas on the platform
monumental entrances and exits
stylistically clinical
uneven lighting and illumination
B-level kept relatively empty
column-crossed B-level
Centrally positioned tracks with external platforms

Version 6
The task in Version 6:
"Wait for the next train on track 2 in area A."

From top to bottom - Finding the right way to the destination at the platform allows two possibilities in version 6: First go to the platform and then get to area A at the other end of the platform, or take the path on the B level. Preferences, or rather the quick spatial understanding of a station is quickly revealed.

The design features of the station:
stylistically similar to the Baker Street station in London
simple station with parallel running platform and B-level
Platform with one track
large and spacious hall
views of the sky from the platform
elongated B-level
Columns and objects placed in the middle of the B level
B-level relatively low
Version 7
The task in Version 7:
"Wait for the next train on track 2 in the direction of Hanau in
Area C."
From top to bottom - repetitive tasks between two versions allow an exact comparison. How does the way of orientation change for platforms positioned in the middle or outside? Which constellations allow easier orientation in space?

The design features of the station:
cathedral-like platform area
Sophisticated design
uniform illumination
difficult to detect exit / departure from the track
Centrally positioned tracks
narrow tunnels
several output options
Orientation system with small lettering
Version 8
The task in Version 8:
"Go to the bus station at Wilhelmsplatz."
From bottom to top - How do study participants behave in heavily nested stations during simple orientation tasks? What influence does monotony and duplication of design elements have in underground stations? Does this encourage wrong decisions to achieve the goal? 

The design characteristics of the station: 
monotone design repetitive platforms to be crossed 
monotone colouring
complex access and exit routes on the platform
good overview on the platform
complex intermediate levels
stylistically based on a Hamburg station (Gänsemarkt)

Version 9
The task in Version 8:
"Wait for the next train on track 2 in area B."
From top to bottom - How does the visibility of escalators influence orientation behaviour? Can clearly arranged rooms create both clarity and well-being already at the platform? Can lack of space in rush hour times be avoided? 

The design features of the station: 
clearly arranged station
Special feature of an intermediate level on the platform
stylistic arcade
extensive platform area
extensive B-level
many entry and exit possibilities
a lot of advertising
very bright station
All Stations
The evaluation of all stations and all study participants in one graph allows a direct comparison of objects with high visibility during the orientation process.
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