Getting ready for winter & responding to your feedbackNovember 3, 2011
• Getting ready for winter
• Responding to your feedback
• Sneak preview of the new mobile site!
One of the problems we had last winter was where temporary timetables were introduced by the train companies, we were unable to display those trains within the journey planner – which mean we had to direct passengers to use the live departure boards. This led to confusion as to which trains were running and which weren’t which wasn’t satisfactory.
Last month, we introduced a change to allow us to show these temporary timetable changes within the journey planner, so that should the railway experience similar problems this winter, we’ll be prepared. We’ll highlight these changes to you with a blue i (information) icon in a triangle within the status column of the train times & fares page.
One other piece of work that we’ve been involved with is improving the information given during disruption. When there are problems on a particular line, customers are often given advice that “tickets are being accepted by…” another train company. You may or may not know what that means in practicality – what station do you have to go to, where will it get you. In order to help with that, the industry has devised a set of alternative route maps, to be given out on station and publicised on websites when there is major disruption on a particular route. For example, the image to the right shows the alternative routes if there is a problem on the Chiltern Railways route between London and Birmingham.
You may have noticed that we’ve introduced a survey programme onto the website. The survey pops up and you can choose whether you want to participate or not, if you choose no we won’t bother you again on that computer. If you say yes, then at the end of your visit to the website, we’ll ask you some questions about your visit.
This type of tool is really important to NRE as it tells us how good we are, and gives us pointers as to what needs improving. One of the consistent issues raised is how to add returns or railcards to a journey. Whilst we work on improving the usability of this part of the site in the long term, I thought it might be helpful to produce a little video about journey planning. This will hopefully help in the meantime! Any other suggestions you might have for mini videos, please comment on the blog.
One major change we do have coming is that at the end November, we’ll be introducing a redesigned mobile version of the website. Any of you that have used the mobile version in the last few months will have seen that it needs to be brought up to date. As more and more of you are accessing the website via mobile devices, we thought that it was important to improve it.
The new website will allow mobile users to have much better access to disruption and station information, along with your usual favourites of journey planning and live departure boards. I’ll write more when we launch the mobile site at end November!