Remix Radio on Monday, Mar. 12th
99% Invisible is, as producer Roman Mars tells it, a “tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world”. Don’t let the “tiny” fool you: there’s nothing small about the ideas Mars explores.
Episode 49: Queue Theory and Design
In the US, it’s called a line.
In Canada, it’s often referred to as a line-up.
Pretty much everywhere else, it’s known as a queue.
My friend Benjamen Walker is obsessed with queues. He keeps sending me YouTube clips of queue violence. This preoccupation led him to find a man known as “Dr. Queue.” Richard Larson is a queue theorist at MIT and he talks us through some of the logic behind the design of queues.
Whereas U.S. companies like Wendy’s and American Airlines once prided themselves on their invention of the single, serpentine, first-come first-served queue, more and more companies are instituting priority queues, offering different wait times for different classes of customers.
New episodes of 99% Invisible, air weekly on 91.7 KALW in San Francisco. Fridays at 7:35am and 4:30pm, Saturdays at 8:35am, and Tuesdays at 10:55pm. Also, 24/7 on Public Radio Remix.