Besides the route maps, we also decided to design strip maps for the individual routes. While the route maps help commuters get a clearer spatial idea of the various routes, the strip maps list the stops along the various bus routes in a clear and direct manner. The strip maps also describe key landmarks around the bus stops which are not featured within the route maps themselves.
The strip maps follow the design of the route maps, including the colour of the bus routes and station markers to ensure a visual continuity throughout. The left side of the strip maps features the name of the various bus stops and their corresponding visual icons which would be featured at the physical bus stop, while the right side lists the various places surrounding the bus stops.
While unique icons have the merit of being distinct from one another, creating too many visually distinctive icons for individual bus stops would overly confuse the commuter who may not be able to recall what each icon stands for off the top of his head. As such, three primary sets of visual icons were designed for the various halls, schools and canteens, with additional icons to depict Nanyang Heights, the Administrative Building as well as Pioneer MRT respectively due to their unique features and, in the case of Pioneer MRT, its ubiquitous and instantly recognizable symbol. For bus stops which are opposite a certain landmark, the icon is demarcated by a horizontal line across to signify it being “across the road”.
It was suggested that the overlapping of the icons with the number or name of the various landmarks made them slightly hard to read, and that perhaps a visual hierarchy between symbol and number/name would improve the clarity of the overall icon. Moreover, the horizontal line below the symbol was deemed to be confusing, and that there wasn’t a need for bus stops opposite landmarks to be differentiated visually. It was also suggested that instead of all icons being of a uniform circular shape, different shapes could also be used to categorize the various sets of icons.
The different sets of icons are therefore in different shapes, with halls being in an octagon, canteens in a circle and schools in a square. There is also a clear distinction between the symbol and the number/name, with the number/name being more prominent than the symbol. It is hoped that this would bring about greater visual clarity for the commuters to instantly recognize and relate the icons to the name of the bus stops.