I’m waiting in the loung at the Social Security office. I can’t hear the announcements over the muffled intercom and I certainly can’t read the screen: the numbers are “mice type” as we say and the corresponding “windows” are indistinguishable. How will I know when it’s my turn? I think most of the information is not augmenting the experience of waiting and is giving visitors a headache instead of a happy distraction. And if this was Holland, there would be fancy design chairs and a coffee machine. But, alas, we put our government $US into other things…

The current screen includes:

  • 30sec spot video ads (mostly with Spanish text), the volume is too low for people sitting more than 10 feet away
  • weather report (thanks for reminding me how sunny it is outside while I’m stuck waiting inside)
  • news and updates about the SS protocols
  • “now serving” numbers with the corresponding window where a SS staff will assist you


I offer this sketch of a much more simplified screen.


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