Posts tagged “gas station”

Out and About: Steve in LA

Recently I was in LA to speak at IxDA Los Angeles/LA UX Meetup (see more here). Here’s some of the photos from my time in Southern California.

The Wall Project is made from the largest section of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany, with original and added imagery.

In a dystopian-LA moment, I filled my rental car with gas only to find the pump had some ridiculous software error and wouldn’t generate a receipt, giving me a message to see the cashier. There was no cashier as the “store” part of the station was gutted and loosely under construction. The unhelpful signage gave a non-working phone number – no matter what variation of the scrawl I tried. And what good would it do to call for a receipt? I was on my way to the car rental place and I needed a receipt in my hand.

The holes where monitors used to be.


Excitement over a mail chute denied; it definitely does not work.

Exterior, Beverly Hills.

Pumping For Thrills

The other day, my car on fumes, I stopped at a 76 station. While I was filling up, I noticed some amusing signs. One was a taxonomy of bugs, as seen post-windshield. The other suggested some stretches to do while you waited. Master shot and details, below.

I guess they’ve had this campaign for a while now, but as an infrequent 76 customer, this was my first time seeing it. The tone confuses me: I can’t tell if they are wry or serious. I guess, yeah, it would be good to stretch during a long drive. But why are the names of the exercise all smart-ass driving jokes? And it would be good to learn about the bugs around us, but smushed ones? It seems like something BoingBoing would link to, but not something a mainstream American corporation would post next to the pumps. I’m all for brands unstodgying themselves, but they aren’t taking a holistic approach to the experience (go figure). Other than seeing those signs, everything about my gas station experience was like every other time I’ve filled up at every other station. Except the buyers remorse when I found gas cheaper elsewhere an hour later. If you want to reframe your commodity as a destination, you have to think a little bigger than just swapping out the credit card ads for bug posters.

Familiar categories; different context


In California, gas stations usually show three prices: regular, mid-grade, and premium. Sometimes diesel is shown. Even if there is small text to explain what those prices refer to, we mostly go off of familiarity, knowing what each box in sequence is telling us.

This sign from a Speedway station in western Michigan uses a fourth slot to indicate price for another item: cigarettes. Gas stations and smokes seem to go together better in MI than in CA.


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