Why I didn’t get on a bus

Bus ticket machinePublic transport can be great at times. Hopping on the train so you can have a few bevvies in town, or getting to London in 2 hours from Sheffield. I’ve used public transport quite a bit, and it’s served me quite well if I’m honest, except for today.

Today was a pretty poor example of user experience, and it’s costing the train/bus service money.

Take the “an your journey” machine to the right. I didn’t have my car today, so I decided to try a bus, after a long time not sitting on one. The journey planner was unusable. Each tap of the touch screen caused the whole page to refresh. Pretty certain it was IE too. 60 seconds it took me to type “Chapeltown“, where I live. That was a major fail.

The next hurdle was trying to workout the actual times of the buses. Safe to say it was unusable. I bailed and decided to go for a train.

Now, Trains have served me well in the past, and the Sheffield > London route is actually really reliable. Today however was another bad day for usability. I’ve seen friends get fined for not boarding the train with a ticket, so figured I ought to buy one before I started. I was greeted with the following:

Great news! So I decided to risk it and get one on the train and hope the ticket police weren’t at the other end.

Simple story about poor usability and getting the experience right, to basically not piss your customers off.