The UX of Walking

I live in New York City and, here, we walk a lot. We walk to get groceries, coffee, toilet paper, to get almost anything. Of course there are revelations like seamless and fresh direct, but generally, we walk. And I think, as New Yorkers, we like walking.

But then...

 

"I'm just trying to get across the street and I swear to god if you don't get yourself out of my way, I'm going to KILL YOU."

 

Inevitable in a city. It is a disease that plagues us all at least once. So what happened to the user experience of walking? More often than not, people are trying to avoid it via their phones, are making themselves move their legs to lose weight, or are walking like they are about to murder everyone in their path. So, the research ensues:

Use cases:
To get from one place to another
To exercise
To enjoy the day (what a shock)

Pain points:
People in the way
Crosswalks
Rain/snow/wind/any combo of crappy weather
"I don't want to"

So then what? Do we stop walking? Do we "suck it up?" 

@@I believe that good UX ignites a certain level of mindfulness@@; it is similar to the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated (or regarded).

Return walking to the roots of UX:
1. Simplicity - put shit away, make it easy to walk
2. Goal-focused - research the best route with the least traffic
3. Understand the users - everyone is trying to get somewhere, be aware
4. Get rid of a shitty mental model - if you hate walking, try reframing how you feel
5. Iterate - be willing to try different routes, walking patterns, aka try new things

Now we just need to design sidewalks :P