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RailRunRob

New Site and App to be released.

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I'm sifting through the site now and will give a full review later. I did just notice that all of the neighborhood maps now use the WalkNYC design that was unveiled a few years back. Previously, only a few maps were in this style, primarily those for the new stations (Hudson Yards, all 2nd Avenue stops), with the rest of them in the original '80s design.

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I definitely love the mobile version because much cleaner than the old one.

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I love the new site! It's finally mobile friendly and not that old 2005 mobile look. (I would always use desktop mode) 

I also gave my feedback for the MTA to include their top 5 news stories onto the mobile site, hope some people here agree with me and do the same. 

Andy Byford is putting in work!!

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I checked out the site and downloaded the app. Looks really nice. Much cleaner, but it needs some sort of LIVE interactive map so that delays and reroutes are shown and that there'd be less confusion 

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 Definitely, a lot better clutter was the main issue with the site IMO. Simple visual and Intuitive. Native mobile was also a good move should be a lot quicker overall using native kits.  I've been saying I'm going to try to make a Pet project of this for a while now I have to get on it. I really want to create a solution around a rider being in route. Getting to transport and timing etc has been well covered.  But once on train/bus it's a pretty static experience. Riders should be able to track their movements in relations to the system, destination and The fluid changes that happen within the system. Auto Reroutes, in route push notifications and even more detailed station information like transfer information and bus countdown correlations.  Maybe able to achieve some of these functions pretty easily even if with a RESTAPI's and Native iOS kits. Need to check out the MTA's backend feeds ASAP.

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This site is Transport for London levels of clean. Seriously, go to TfLs website and try to tell me otherwise.

I look forward to seeing this site progress through its beta. Because I'm already ready to get rid of the Transit App.

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1 hour ago, LTA1992 said:

This site is Transport for London levels of clean. Seriously, go to TfLs website and try to tell me otherwise.

I look forward to seeing this site progress through its beta. Because I'm already ready to get rid of the Transit App.

TFL's site is good. Have you ever used Toronto's 'GO Transit' site? It's horrible.

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2 hours ago, LTA1992 said:

This site is Transport for London levels of clean. Seriously, go to TfLs website and try to tell me otherwise.

I look forward to seeing this site progress through its beta. Because I'm already ready to get rid of the Transit App.

I wouldn't call this TfL levels of clean, just yet... It's not as user friendly...

Using the example of finding weekend service changes:

TfL: home page, click status updates, click this weekend

MTA: home page, click more, click Planned Service Changes, click subways, manually change date, manually select line, click show me planned works

(repeat last two steps for each line as there is no select all option; the MTA website also doesn't have a map showing which areas of the system are affected on the same webpage as the service changes like TfL.)

 

Another example: finding information about Oyster and MetroCard:

TfL: Home page, click more, click Oyster

MTA: Home page, click Fares & Tolls, click Subway, Bus and Staten Island Railway fares, click about MetroCard

(Note also that some information about MetroCard is spread around on the subway/bus/SIR fare page unlike TfL which has all necessary Oyster information in one page)

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It looks pretty for all of thirty seconds.

I'm going to use https://new.mta.info/fares-and-tolls/long-island-rail-road/atlantic-ticket as an example of how terrible this is. Atlantic Ticket should, theoretically, be one of the more prominent pages, since it's a new, customer-friendly initiative. Which I can't even get to easily from the front page.

Problem number 1: So much white space. This is more apparent on wide screens, but easily two thirds of my screen is just white space on the side. That's awful.

Problem number 2: Information hierarchy is very, very poor. All the fonts are the same weight, all the colors are the same neon levels of brightness. As a result, I don't know where to look for things intuitively.

Problem number 3: The colors. Tone it down and save some peoples' eyes.

Problem number 4: The copy. Helvetica is great for design and great for branding, but is probably the worst choice for readable copy text on the web.

As someone who does a lot of UX and UI for a living, this website looks like something someone whipped up on Fiverr.

XXyrmqj.png

Edited by bobtehpanda
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10 hours ago, Around the Horn said:

I wouldn't call this TfL levels of clean, just yet... It's not as user friendly...

Using the example of finding weekend service changes:

TfL: home page, click status updates, click this weekend

MTA: home page, click more, click Planned Service Changes, click subways, manually change date, manually select line, click show me planned works

(repeat last two steps for each line as there is no select all option; the MTA website also doesn't have a map showing which areas of the system are affected on the same webpage as the service changes like TfL.)

 

Another example: finding information about Oyster and MetroCard:

TfL: Home page, click more, click Oyster

MTA: Home page, click Fares & Tolls, click Subway, Bus and Staten Island Railway fares, click about MetroCard

(Note also that some information about MetroCard is spread around on the subway/bus/SIR fare page unlike TfL which has all necessary Oyster information in one page)

Remember people, IT'S A BETA. Incomplete. To Be Changed.

At it's current stage, it's better than I expected it to be. And thus, clean. 

Edited by LTA1992
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8 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

It looks pretty for all of thirty seconds.

I'm going to use https://new.mta.info/fares-and-tolls/long-island-rail-road/atlantic-ticket as an example of how terrible this is. Atlantic Ticket should, theoretically, be one of the more prominent pages, since it's a new, customer-friendly initiative. Which I can't even get to easily from the front page.

Problem number 1: So much white space. This is more apparent on wide screens, but easily two thirds of my screen is just white space on the side. That's awful.

Problem number 2: Information hierarchy is very, very poor. All the fonts are the same weight, all the colors are the same neon levels of brightness. As a result, I don't know where to look for things intuitively.

Problem number 3: The colors. Tone it down and save some peoples' eyes.

Problem number 4: The copy. Helvetica is great for design and great for branding, but is probably the worst choice for readable copy text on the web.

As someone who does a lot of UX and UI for a living, this website looks like something someone whipped up on Fiverr.

XXyrmqj.png

3

It's a Beta there's time for feedback and change. If designed mobile 1st and adapted with some type of bootstrapping how would you solve for the white space it's adaptive.

The taxonomy (Hierarchal) Structure isn't too bad people can navigate wayfinding is okay. I do agree with the fonts and weights. The color swatches primary and secondary colors are fair as well. Blue is pretty harmonious the hint of yellow counteracts as well.

I guess the main question is who are the primary user Personas ? Current user Journeys?  Working in UX you know our critiques and POV dont always solve for the pains and gains of the user.. It needs some work but it's a step in the right direction. Im sure the backend is alot lighter as well. Maybe a MEAN stack? Should be somewhat easier to implement future updates and changes.  

Edited by RailRunRob

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37 minutes ago, LTA1992 said:

 

Remember people, IT'S A BETA. Incomplete. To Be Changed.

At it's current stage, it's better than I expected it to be. And thus, clean. 

Yeah I agree.  As long as it's somewhat familiar to what people already know and is uncluttered,clear and clean. I think working functions and data along with getting information quickly and efficiently no doubt trumps more complex design in this particular scenario.

Edited by RailRunRob

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1 hour ago, LTA1992 said:

 

Remember people, IT'S A BETA. Incomplete. To Be Changed.

At it's current stage, it's better than I expected it to be. And thus, clean. 

If it's too clean and not user friendly then it's going backwards.  I don't care about it being so pretty. I want the information that I need to get to my destination as quickly as possible.  It looks clean but that's about the only good thing it has going for it.  The Status page is just awful.  

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Only thing I like about the new site is you can look up the schedules and fares for the commuter rails on the mobile site, where's the old site only the desktop version was able to do that.

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41 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

If it's too clean and not user friendly then it's going backwards.  I don't care about it being so pretty. I want the information that I need to get to my destination as quickly as possible.  It looks clean but that's about the only good thing it has going for it.  The Status page is just awful.  

Did you let them know? They have a feedback prompt just for this purpose.

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Just now, Lance said:

Did you let them know? They have a feedback prompt just for this purpose.

Yes I did yesterday.  I was very specific about what I liked and didn't like.  You know me by now. I don't just post here and complain...

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50 minutes ago, Lance said:

Did you let them know? They have a feedback prompt just for this purpose.

I personally let them know my comments yesterday.

2 hours ago, LTA1992 said:

 

Remember people, IT'S A BETA. Incomplete. To Be Changed.

At it's current stage, it's better than I expected it to be. And thus, clean. 

That's not technically what a software beta is for. A software beta is mostly complete and for finding bugs and such. I would not expect the look of a website, in this particular case, to drastically change in the beta; that's what a software alpha is for.

2 hours ago, RailRunRob said:

I guess the main question is who are the primary user Personas ? Current user Journeys?  Working in UX you know our critiques and POV dont always solve for the pains and gains of the user.. It needs some work but it's a step in the right direction. Im sure the backend is alot lighter as well. Maybe a MEAN stack? Should be somewhat easier to implement future updates and changes.  

There are some user journeys that get totally dropped in this new version, most notably anyone looking for news on the MTA. The old MTA page has links to Freedom Ticket, the Bus Plan, the R211 redesign, etc.

While I am all for clean, responsive design, there is a giant spectrum between a cluttered, information-dense Yahoo design and a Google homepage design that tells you nothing. 

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12 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

There are some user journeys that get totally dropped in this new version, most notably anyone looking for news on the MTA. The old MTA page has links to Freedom Ticket, the Bus Plan, the R211 redesign, etc.

How many people actually use the sections? Just asking honestly us excluded. You don't think there was reasoning behind this? 

12 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

That's not technically what a software beta is for. A software beta is mostly complete and for finding bugs and such. I would not expect the look of a website, in this particular case, to drastically change in the beta; that's what a software alpha is for.

True for the most part there definitely in the optimizing state. The design is definitely locked at this point. This isnt a  Full-fledged software or platform here with a GM release or anything they could add links on the mainpage to subpages easily to add missing information or sections they did it on the old site.

Edited by RailRunRob

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51 minutes ago, RailRunRob said:

How many people actually use the sections? Just asking honestly us excluded. You don't think there was reasoning behind this? 

There are two points to design: use, and impression. In this case, there's not really a rhyme or reason to how the MTA places that information in the old front page, so current traffic is a misleading indicator.

I get the impression from the new beta website that nothing is going on at the MTA, because there's no information about updates or what they're doing. A lot of information is hidden away behind endless clicks. 

Comparing to a bunch of other websites, you lose quite a lot of information.

London - https://tfl.gov.uk/

LA - https://www.metro.net/

Chicago - https://www.transitchicago.com/

Hong Kong - http://www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/main/index.html

Paris - https://www.ratp.fr/en

Montreal - http://www.stm.info/en

Sao Paulo - http://www.metro.sp.gov.br/en/your-trip/

Seoul - http://www.seoulmetro.co.kr/en/index.do?device=PC

Tokyo - https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/

You get the point. If we're going to act like the first-rate transit city we should be, then going backwards in functionality is quite poor.

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2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Yes I did yesterday.  I was very specific about what I liked and didn't like.  You know me by now. I don't just post here and complain...

Eh, you know what they say about people who assume...

So I finally had a chance to take a good look at the new site and to be quite frank, I'm a bit underwhelmed here. While the clean lines, less cluttered approach is a big plus over the previous design (TfL clone much?), that's pretty much all it has going for it. In terms of actual usability, the entire thing falls apart, which is why I was under the impression this was not the final result and that a more robust design would follow. Apparently I'm wrong in that belief. Very relevant information has either been buried under a series of clicks (even the ever-popular Weekender has fallen off the front page) or has been removed entirely. Take for instance the long-term service changes. On the old site, it's right there on the main page. You may have to scroll down a bit to see it, but it's right there for viewing pleasure. On the new site, all of them are buried in the planned service changes, which isn't good for someone looking for a station that may not be open in a couple of weeks, which is the case for the upcoming ESI-related station rehabs.

Speaking of planned service changes, users are now forced to choose one service and day at a time to see if there are any upcoming service changes. That's a major difference from the TfL site the MTA "borrowed" from. Having such a cumbersome layout is the exact opposite of an improvement. Most riders rarely use only one line to get around, more so on weekends where several lines are rerouted concurrently. Information on all service changes needs to be readily available at a glance and this is not it, not by a long shot.

Another thing missing are the PR-related articles and promotions that were so prevalent on the old site. As Bob said in a previous post, where's the new SI bus plan? Where are the Getaways promotions for Metro-North and LIRR? Or the JFK/LGA airport guides? Even the crown jewel of the bus network, Select Bus Service, has gone the way of the do-do. For all of the effort to get people to use mass transit, people will be less inclined to do so if they are not aware these options exist. For the few system modernization items that remain, they are buried under another series of clicks, a massive detractor for people who don't feel like sifting through subpage after subpage of info. If the idea is to convince the public that there is a movement to actually improve service, that will not happen if people cannot find the relevant information in a timely manner.

Say what you will about the old site, while everything may have been cluttered on the main page, it was always right there in front of the user. Here, not so much. If this site is to succeed beyond a desktop version of TripPlanner, they need to add some meat to this skinny site. On the plus side, at least the design scheme is more in line with the NYS color palette.

For the record, I have also submitted feedback on these concerns to the MTA.

1 hour ago, RailRunRob said:

How many people actually use the sections? Just asking honestly us excluded. You don't think there was reasoning behind this? 

True for the most part there definitely in the optimizing state. The design is definitely locked at this point. This isnt a  Full-fledged software or platform here with a GM release or anything they could add links on the mainpage to subpages easily to add missing information or sections they did it on the old site.

I imagine it's nowhere near as high as those looking for the main sections (TripPlanner, schedules, real-time arrivals, etc.), but it's good optics to promote what they're trying to accomplish. At least let users know the MTA is working towards improving things and their progress on that front. Bob is right on the money in the post above in that it gives the impression that nothing is being done.

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5 minutes ago, Lance said:

Eh, you know what they say about people who assume...

So I finally had a chance to take a good look at the new site and to be quite frank, I'm a bit underwhelmed here. While the clean lines, less cluttered approach is a big plus over the previous design (TfL clone much?), that's pretty much all it has going for it. In terms of actual usability, the entire thing falls apart, which is why I was under the impression this was not the final result and that a more robust design would follow. Apparently I'm wrong in that belief. Very relevant information has either been buried under a series of clicks (even the ever-popular Weekender has fallen off the front page) or has been removed entirely. Take for instance the long-term service changes. On the old site, it's right there on the main page. You may have to scroll down a bit to see it, but it's right there for viewing pleasure. On the new site, all of them are buried in the planned service changes, which isn't good for someone looking for a station that may not be open in a couple of weeks, which is the case for the upcoming ESI-related station rehabs.

Speaking of planned service changes, users are now forced to choose one service and day at a time to see if there are any upcoming service changes. That's a major difference from the TfL site the MTA "borrowed" from. Having such a cumbersome layout is the exact opposite of an improvement. Most riders rarely use only one line to get around, more so on weekends where several lines are rerouted concurrently. Information on all service changes needs to be readily available at a glance and this is not it, not by a long shot.

Another thing missing are the PR-related articles and promotions that were so prevalent on the old site. As Bob said in a previous post, where's the new SI bus plan? Where are the Getaways promotions for Metro-North and LIRR? Or the JFK/LGA airport guides? Even the crown jewel of the bus network, Select Bus Service, has gone the way of the do-do. For all of the effort to get people to use mass transit, people will be less inclined to do so if they are not aware these options exist. For the few system modernization items that remain, they are buried under another series of clicks, a massive detractor for people who don't feel like sifting through subpage after subpage of info. If the idea is to convince the public that there is a movement to actually improve service, that will not happen if people cannot find the relevant information in a timely manner.

Say what you will about the old site, while everything may have been cluttered on the main page, it was always right there in front of the user. Here, not so much. If this site is to succeed beyond a desktop version of TripPlanner, they need to add some meat to this skinny site. On the plus side, at least the design scheme is more in line with the NYS color palette.

For the record, I have also submitted feedback on these concerns to the MTA.

I honestly don't see what's wrong with the old site and I don't find it cluttered either. Everything that I need is either there or a few clicks away.  It's much more tedious to find anything out about buses or subways.  The only thing that they didn't bury were the MNRR schedules.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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