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75% of Londoners use tfl.gov.uk. The site gets around 8m unique users a month and each year receives 250m visits and growing (see the chart below).

So, a recently released beta version of their newly designed site is sure to generate a fair amount of user data.

I took a look around the site, to see what kind of user experience TfL (with BAE Detica and we are experience) have delivered.

The first thing to say is that a lot of the updates to the ‘old’ TfL site are plum in line with current best practice thinking in web design. The site works smoothly across devices, uses local data and is generally a joy to navigate.

On the TfL blog, Head of Online Phil Young details the new features:

  • A new design, working across mobile, tablet and desktop.
  • Redesigned Journey Planner, simpler and easier to use.
  • Google Maps and Streetview integrated within Journey Planner.
  • Service status with faster updates.
  • New content and navigation.

Here are a few screen shots from the website on my mobile. You can see the sizeable buttons, and a journey planner that drops open.

As the site is responsive, you can resize it in your browser to see how nicely it rescales.

  

The Oyster top-up page is easy to use, and there are clear updates, advising of service delays and closures. The journey planner allows one to select ‘current location’, and will save details of past journeys and locations.

A ‘Nearby’ feature will be added later in the beta trial and will show transport links in the local radius, as well as live departure details.

One of the nice design features of the site is the customised egg timer when planning journeys by bicycle, foot or public transport. Here you can see the cyclist egg timer, as it crosses London during page load.

The home page is very clearly laid out, with key services rightfully taking prominence. The background images are colourful and there are three or four variants, based on iconic London transport.

Information for smaller segments of users e.g. coach drivers, schools, commercial partners is all as clearly and beautifully laid out as the main pages, but is kept tidily in the footer where it is simultaneously easy to find and unobtrusive.

The sub-pages are worthy of note e.g. the fares and payments page, which clearly gives call to actions based on some of TfL’s main revenue streams, such as ticketing and fines.

The social media page gets top marks for clarity, too, and will help to ensure users get timely information about transport, and strain on the network is reduced day-to-day.

All in all this redesign is another gov.uk shining light of UX, and one which Londoners will be proud of. Go take a look for yourself, with further detail on the new features here.

Ben Davis

Published 4 July, 2013 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (9)

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Chris Averill

Whilst we like to take the credit for a job well done, we do need to share the credit with Detica UK, great team. And none of this would have been possible without our amazing client team at TfL too!

about 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

thanks, Chris. Have added in.

about 3 years ago

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Akhtar

Oahu is the greatest thing to discover. Particularly since mobile devices are further than Computer use. Handling responsive web designs surely is a must for businesses to be well.

about 3 years ago

Rhys Davies

Rhys Davies, Head of Digital Media at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence

Thanks for such a nice review eConsultancy - TfL is such a great client/brand to work for. BTW, the Beta responsive journey planner is just the tip of the iceberg - we are really excited about what's to come later this year!!

about 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

@Rhys

Looking forward to seeing the results.

about 3 years ago

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Mathew Porter

I saw the dev site a few weeks ago and its starting to come together quite nicely, will be nice to see how some of the functionality that isnt integrated yet gets adapted in the lower break points.

about 3 years ago

Hayden Sutherland

Hayden Sutherland, Director at Ideal Interface

A check of the TFL site shows that 6 months on from the publishing of this article the new Responsive Beta site still hasn't been deployed to the main site.

I wonder if there's any reasons why this is the case and if these can be shared (e.g. it is in some way because of the responsive layout ).

over 2 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

@Hayden

I had wondered this, too. The beta planner is still the top CTA on mobile. Perhaps trials have to be a year long as seasonality affects travel so greatly?

Will be good to see it go live so we can see what the stats show.

over 2 years ago

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A Nadeem, Online Marketing Consultant at Azam.net Marketing

Thank you for that very interesting article.

However, I have a concern about the first sentence:

"75% of Londoners use tfl.gov.uk"

I'd be very interested to see clear proof of this claim made (8 million unique visitors does not necessarily correlate with 75% of ALL Londoners using the website). For instance, the majority of pensioners I know struggle to use the internet - if they have ever used it at all - and similarly I doubt if the many hundreds of thousands of, say, under 10 year olds visit the website. Then one has to consider the hundreds of thousands of foreigners in the city who barely understand a few words of English etc. etc.

It's important to remind ourselves once in a while that not everyone is a net-savvy young or middle-aged white middle-class person in London, even though those are the people who dominate the marketing industry.

over 2 years ago

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