When designing for an audience of this breadth and diversity, consistency is key. It was essential we devised a set of patterns which users could quickly understand. The vast range of purchase options and travel routes available meant that nothing less than meticulous attention to detail would ensure we created a consistent experience which lowered the barriers to use.
We conducted thirty, ninety-minute interviews at the TfL testing centre with people from across London, ensuring that we included users of every underground and overground line plus bus travellers, paper ticket and oyster card users. In order to capture the spectrum of TfL customers we recruited a wide range of demographics, taking into consideration varying levels of literacy as well as people with physical and cognitive disability.
The technical limitations of the machines had an impact on our design thinking at this stage. We realised we needed to provide stronger directional cues to help guide the user off-screen towards other parts of the machine. We validated our low-fidelity prototypes through user research, using the insights gained to inform more detailed screen designs.
We then conducted user research with an interactive prototype. The prototype was presented on a touchscreen display and housed within a mocked-up ticket machine. We were then able to hand over detailed visual and interaction design specifications for development.