So I was running out of the office tonight to catch the train home. A train which I was pretty certain I wasn’t going to catch.
Now I’m usually pretty good at remembering all sorts of trivial things, especially numbers, but for some reason the one thing that doesn’t stick is train times – especially the times for homeward bound trains.
“No problem”, I thought and whipped out my handy new Moto Q cell phone (which I’m tapping this out on). I figured I’d just check out what the GO Transit site – surly they’d have a mobile phone enabled site right?
No dice… Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot – when they launched their redeveloped site a year ago I actually sent them an email asking why they didn’t have SMS support for their train interuption notices (just email). My walk from the office is 20 minutes, until very recently an email would do me no good. SMS just seemed like common sense – I couldn’t understand how they missed it.
I’ve recently been reading a book called “The Inmates are Running the Asylum” by Alan Cooper. It centers on the concept of Interaction design (How does someone actually use xxxxxxx?) and the notion of “goal-oriented design”.
It’s pretty clear what happened with the GO site is a web shop of some kind sat down with the folks at GO and said “what do you want it to do?” A good start but what they really should have done is asked “What do your users want it to do?”
They’re two very, very different questions.
The site has all the right pieces and the information I need is right there (what GO wanted) but not in a way that’s useable for a commuter who is “On the GO”. (What I want)
Interestingly enough I think localization professionals would find this book an interesting read too. Depending on the site and markets it caters too it is entire possible that an Engish speaking North American would have very different interaction expectations then a Flemish speakng Belgian.
(I’ll go back and edit in links later – not possible on the phone…)