Friday, April 11, 2008

Looking at redBus.in

User experience is about delighting users and understanding their day to day needs. Most of the time designers design websites and software without understanding user’s context. Context awareness definitely leads to not only good designs but also to creative and out of the box solutions.

One such example is the bus ticket booking site redBus.in The site has intelligently understood their target audience who are young software professionals sitting in air-conditioned and high-speed internet access offices of multi-national software companies. Working under project deadlines and management pressure, software professionals come from various parts of the country and require frequent trips back home by air, road, and train.

Planning a trip is a time consuming task. Looking for various options and finally nailing down one involves a complex decision making process. The complexity increases the time spent on the site by the user. Most of the times, project managers and bosses do not like their valuable resources spending time deciding travel itinerary rather than working on the project.

To cater this redBus.in has come up with a creative solution with a pun. The homepage has a link “Boss is watching? Look busy.” (See the attached image at pointer 1) Clicking the link opens up a complex looking excel sheet with charts and graphs. If you saw your boss coming near you, just click the link and start reading the excel sheet. You can click the “back” link once he leaves your desk.

The other interesting thing that I found on redBus.in is the language selection (See the attached image at pointer 2). As a common practice, all the available languages are shown in global menu. The current language selection is shown as deactivated link. However, redBus.in differs the convention in an interesting way. Once the user selects the language from the menu, the selected language link disappears from the menu instead of becoming deactivated. To me it appears as a nice concept with no confusion, however, the effectiveness of this concept could be found only through usability testing.

Enjoy buying tickets there….

5 comments:

  1. It's an interesting article, Praveen. The service is better than their site. I tried requesting a ticket from Coimbatore to Chennai [through their site] and they gave me call in flat 20 mins. The logo and branding do perfect justice - you are bound to find intercity buses coloured 'red' in India. It's amazing and the user experience is just wonderful. Thanks for highlighting this aspect. It was a good read indeed!

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  2. I love that excel sheet buddy. And I must say here..WE MISSED THE BUS ;)

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  3. great thinking...lets try each of us at our ofices

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  4. Travelyaari.com offers cheap online bus tickets. You will find Bus tickets to over 1000 routes at cheapest prices. Search and book bus tickets online. Travelyaari makes bus travel easy, fast and reliable.

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  5. Another point to note:

    On a ususal website, if you don't select the date of journey and click on Submit. You will get the Error pop up and force you to select the date (2 mouse clicks wasted).
    Try it on redbus, they simply open the calendar for you. These are very small things but improves user experience in a big way.

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