Here's a summary of what I'm thinking about in this area:
There are several ways to manage a waiting process (e.g. numbered tickets at the cheese counter or single queues for multiple service points at the post office). These methods can be objectively measured; the effect on waiting times and processing rates can be quantified. But the effect on the experience of waiting is less objective and cannot easily be measured. How might we better understand these issues, in particular the perception of fairness, to design better waiting experiences that are optimal not only in their use of resources but also in their impact on the people who are waiting?
Nice to note that Dave Chatting will be attending. My brief conversation with Dave about our shared interest in time-based maps led to a couple of interesting posts on Computing for Emergent Architecture. It will be good to pick up that discussion again.