Keeping Jersey moving with Google
When Liberty Bus asked us to help redesign their website, we relished at the opportunity to improve the online experience that’s used by hundreds of thousands of islanders and tourists each year.
But we didn’t stop there. Partnering with Google, we developed a complex conversion tool to feed local public transport data into the power of Google Maps, making Jersey’s transport information far more accessible to both locals and tourists, and negating the need for a costly native mobile app.
How we listened and learned
Customers had two primary pain points: speed and accessibility of information. In particular, making the timetables easier to access and understand, and allowing for efficient and accurate journey planning. The existing solution wasn’t cutting it - clunky pinch-to-zoom timetable matrices and a Journey Planner that meant knowing the name of the bus stop and not where you wanted to travel to.
How we collaborated and created
We started by asking ourselves two questions: How can we make it easier for people to plan their journey and interact with the experience on-the-go? How can we make the whole experience delightful, fast and clear for people?
73% of all Liberty Bus website visits originate on a mobile device, so naturally, we started with a mobile-first audience in mind. We set about creating numerous design prototypes to determine the best user experience for key areas such as timetables and journey planning. A site-wide fixed footer was agreed, making the site feel more like a day-to-day tool and allowing quick access to the most popular functionality.
Following numerous iterations and stakeholder participation, it was time to see what the users thought. We collaborated with 4insight in Jersey to plan mobile eye-tracking interviews with regular bus users of all ages and digital ability.
The end result was a radical new timetable design, removing the traditional timetable matrix in favour of a linear list based on origin and destination stops.
The experience was enhanced by automatically displaying the correct timetable based on the current day and incorporating a ‘Favourites’ feature for routes and stops for quicker access via the home page.
For the Journey Planner, we utilised the power of Google Maps and Google Transit to do the heavy lifting for us. In doing so, the second pain point could be resolved: commonly-known locations and places of interest could be used as an origin and destination, removing the assumption of users knowing specific stop names.
Lastly, we integrated live bus information, allowing users to be accurately informed on when the next buses were due to arrive at any given stop.
How we evaluated and evolved
The results were a resounding success. Our reservations with introducing a radical new UX for timetables were immediately laid to rest, with the use of extensive heatmap campaigns across mobile and desktop showing that overall users were comfortable with the new experience.
Since launching in late September 2019, data shows a 15% uplift in mobile visits year-on-year, a 33% reduction in bounce rate due to above-the-fold homepage considerations, and a 10 second drop in average session duration, indicating users are finding information faster.