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StepJockey field trials under way

The first trials of our smart signs are now underway and - hooray - they seem to be driving stair use as intended.

The signs have already been through detailed consumer testing with a representative sample of 1,000 Londoners, so we're very hopeful we've got the messaging and iconography right.

Almost all respondents reacted to the climbing man icon best. We measured this by flashing the icons up on a screen and timing how long it took respondents to enter the icon's meaning. Here’s the set we tested:

For the written messages on the posters, it was a very different story. Demographic groups within the sample were motivated by different things. It's an over generalisation, but broadly speaking men went for the heart messages, women liked the weight messages and younger people liked the messages about toning and muscle building. These were some of the most popular overall:

  • Stair climbing burns seven times more calories than taking the lift
  • Stair climbers have stronger hearts
  • Get fit fast. Stair climbing burns more calories than jogging
  • Stair climbing tones and burns calories and fat fast

The posters also have a full calorie-burn breakdown for the specific staircase - a bit like the nutrition label you find on foods. It's this very precise data that people find most intriguing. Almost everyone who sees it reacts by asking when they will be able to track it automatically. Here's a close up:

All these elements came together to create the posters we are now field testing. In each building we’ve got them up together with bright red StepJockey arrows pointing to the stairs. The QR codes and NFC tags are not yet operational but sub groups within one of buildings are tracking their calorie burn with pseudo apps to test for any additional stair climbing motivation a bit of self-monitoring and competition brings.

So after all that here, at last, is a pic of one of our finished test signs. Let us know what you think: