The underground in Hong Kong is really great! It’s fast, efficient and I especially like the dynamic maps that are installed in the metro trains.

The first time you enter the train, you take a look at the map and it easily guides you to the places you want to go. It’s a simple and logic visualization and it can tell you exactly what you need to know; “is this the right train?”, and “do I need to get off this stop?”.

Travelling the Hong Kong MTR

After some traveling, you get more familiar with the city and when you take the subway, you have some more time to look around and notice how smart the MTR map-design is. The map is positioned above every exit in the train cars and supplies you with more information than you realised the first time you saw it. Not only does it show you where the train currently is and where the next stops are, the infographic contains even more information for the advanced user…

The lighting in the map is used to visualise the tube system and directs you to best transfer options. Some metro-lines cross each other at multiple stations, so therefor the system is optimised to make the transfer to another line smooth and efficient. When the transfer is right across the other side of the platform the map lights up the connecting line and the direction it’s travelling. When looking at the map I realised that the map displays more information than I initially noticed. The design turns out to be really efficient because the first time users simply can check the basics, but a the same time the advanced users get a lot of additional information. To me this a good example of successful off-line onboarding.

Apart from the basic info, the infographic shows you:

  • …in what direction the current train is travelling (green arrow)
  • …the best transfer option (matching tracks lights up)
  • …in what direction the transfer is (only the upcoming part of the track is highlighted)
  • …what door to exit on the next stop (green light on the the exit side)
  • …what door not to exit in next stop (red light on blind side of the train)

Great infographic, great subway, great city!

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Current line

Transfer highlighted

Transfer highlighted

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Current line after the transfer

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Please exit this side

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Please exit from the opposite side