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….