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Stupid Usability #118

Walmart's Mess of a Parking Lot

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 10/5/2015

From the mind of Terri Ebert, Graphic Designer at High Monkey:

The parking lot at the Walmart in Roseville is probably the most frustrating parking lot I have ever encountered. The area it occupies is fairly small as it sits between County Road C, Cleveland Avenue, and Twin Lakes Parkway (which has a roundabout), so I imagine that there was a lot of thought that went behind designing this lot. My issues, or the stupid usability surrounding it, include: the entrances/exits, the greenery, and the one-way only lanes.

There are three entrances/exits to the parking lot. The first is on County Rd C, while the other two are on Twin Lakes Parkway. Entrance #2, marked on the map, forces the vehicles to immediately exit out of the roundabout, and shuffles them through a narrow, one-way lane. You have no choice but to be stuck in this area far away from the door, or you have the option to turn left twice and be in a short lane that features a stingy 23 spots. If you can’t find a spot there, don’t turn left or you’ll end up exiting the parking lot through the roundabout. Entrance #3 brings vehicles into the back of the parking lot, giving them options for where to drive. But, if you exit at #3, you’ll be forced to drive east and travel through the roundabout.

My second issue with this parking lot is the amount of greenery throughout it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about grass, trees, and flowers used to increase the aesthetic. But, is a parking lot really the appropriate place for this? When I’m in a parking lot, my only objective is to (quickly) find a convenient place to park and get into the store. I don’t need green spaces taking up parking spots in a lot that’s already too small for the store’s size. This green space results in my next issue: the one-way lanes.

I would estimate that 90% of the lanes in this parking lot are one-way only. I understand that most parking lots are filled with one-way lanes, but this one takes them to the extreme. My best example is in the explanation about Exit #2 above. If you follow the one way when trying to find a parking spot, you could end up leaving the lot.

Every time I pull into this parking lot, my blood pressure rises because I know it’s going to be a battle to find a spot that’s anywhere near the door. This relates to stupid usability because there were too many features added to this lot to enhance it, but really, it just makes the usability extremely difficult. These issues could’ve been avoided by decreasing the amount of green space to widen the lanes from one-way to two. This would also increase the number of parking spots available


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More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 10/5/2015 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments