It’s never long between Rosie Lee posts here on Bitique – it’s a good job we’re such big fans of theirs! This time we’re showing you a recent project for Icon Magazine.Icon Magazine publish a monthly feature called Rethink that invites creative and design agencies to redesign something they feel is in need of improvement. Rosie Lee chose to rework the user interface of Britain’s ageing train ticket machines.
I’ll now let Chop (RL Creative Director Mark Fleming) take over :
Travel in the UK is one of the biggest causes of stress to our daily lives. There is an almost universal understanding of this across all demographics. The frustration is not restricted to just tube travel, train travel or airports but to most forms of transport.
Can technology offer the solution? It can, but it falls short at the moment.
Well-designed websites navigate across hundreds of thousands of pieces of data and seamlessly deliver dynamic content to our users in less than a second, yet in contrast we stand at ticket machines trying to figure out what button to press next, and what Super Off-Peak means. Many user interface design principles hold for ticket vending machines as they do with websites but don’t seem to be followed.
We looked into ideas that could make ticket vending machines and their user interfaces a whole lot simpler, quicker and more informative. We reduced the number of steps and different pages as much as possible, to give the user a clear logical progression from one decision to the next.
This is the first step – immediately we ask people to tell us their circumstances so that the user interface can be presented in the most appropriate way – already, the machine is channelling the most appropriate ticket options. An optional swipe card also allows users to pre-save favourite journeys.
We use landmarks, station names and postcodes to make journey decisions easy for visitors and tourists. These can be easily facilitated through the same search box to reduce clicks.
Route Planner and Ticket Prices
By physically showing a simple route map and appropriate train times we combine two steps into one. The customer is given a quick visualisation of the route – helping them become familiar with their journey ahead.
Assuming physical tickets are not phasing out soon, this screen is the one that customers currently look at the most without any interaction. We use this time as an opportunity to present information, offers and rewards based on their current ticket selection.