Trainline are one of the biggest train ticket operators in the UK and a go to service to compare and find the cheapest tickets from all train.
I joined the Trainline mobile team at the start of 2015, when they already had apps in both the iOS App Store and the Play Store, but lacked customer satisfaction with an average rating of 2 stars.
One of the biggest parts of confusion we observed for commuters was the disconnect from what they saw on the platform to what they could find in the app.
Train stations display a lot of information and when you know what you're looking for, it can work ok. But when you need a stop that's on a unfamiliar route you're almost forced to ask a station guard or loose valuable time making sense of it, making us consider how do we bring this knowledge to our users.
Throughout my time with Trainline we tested numerous design solutions for every problem we were trying to solve and constantly iterated to arrive at the clearest and most satisfactory solution. Design was rightly always considered as work in progress and unfinished, striving for small tweaks we amend to give customer satisfaction.
Having access to a user testing environment was the most beneficial and rewarding part of the project. This allowed us to be 100% user centric, testing concepts, improving current workflows and gathering user experiences. These were carried out regularly through the 3 week release cycles.
With user testing giving a big input to our design directions it was important to share these insights and experiences throughout the team. As well as encouraging the whole team to participate in note taking, Playbacks were a chance to share our findings with the whole our team as well as inviting teams outside of mobile to observe.
A constant theme we heard throughout all user testing was complexity. A main design focus was to bring clarity and familiarity to the user. This was the in the form of keeping the UI clean with traditional graphic design reading patterns, hierarchy of type and simplistic user journeys.
The UI/UX updates throughout my time at the Trainline where massively steered by bringing simplicity and bring empowerment to the user. Combining best UI practises and strong typographic patterns, information followed a logical flow and was immediately clear.
Bringing familiarity to the user was a key theme throughout to help empower the user. We incorporated a personal departure board based on your commuter journey that will give you a running update through the day.
One of the great unexpected insights from the user testing was travellers not realising the full flexibility of their ticket. Often the ticket was valid for a bunch of other off-peak trains incase they missed the first one or decided to catch an earlier one, we felt the need to bring this to their attention with our 'Also valid on' feature.
Throughout my time at Trainline, there were always new ideas and themes that came up in between sprints. One of which was new ways to help disabled traveller feel empowered when using travelling by rail.
With the launch of the multitask feature in iOS 9 of Sept 2015, there was a drive to have a single app for both iPhone and iPad. We had repurposed the iPhone for both platforms and was featured in the Best of September iPad apps that month.
A lot of what we were doing on the redevelopments of user flows and patterns would apply to Android. We were also senstive to platform patterns and made sure our releases complied with the Material Design patterns.
As the team was growing the need to share principles and patterns was crucial. The Trainline mobile guide was created to bring simplicity, share knowledge and consistency of Trainline specific details.
From when I started with the Trainline, the brand identity was in need of modernising. Icons and assets were designed and created to work across both iOS and Android and still carry the Trainline identity.
Concepts for the Apple watch released in April 2015.
I was fortunate to see a lot change at The Trainline from my time there. Bringing in user research to give insight and shape ideas was personally rewarding and I think reflected in the app reviews of a 4.5 star average on both platforms.
A suite of highly rated apps across most digital platforms.
And featured in various places along the way.