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KSRTC Website - Need to redefine its Existance?

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Praja related

Prajagale,

One more request, one more PRAJA initiative.

http://praja.in/blog/silkboard/2009/07/27/want-help-make-ksrtc-website-better

As SB said in the above discussion, KSRTC has approached PRAJA community soliciting its help in gathering suggestions and comments to enhance its WEBSITE . Initiative to gather user requirements.

KSRTC is looking for help with 2 kinds of inputs:

  1. User Experience and user requirements
  2. Suggestions for technologies and tools to support the above.

So, Keeping the Praja traditions for an open and honest discussions, the floor is now open for your esteem suggestions, feedback, review comments and solutions. Let the discussion be flooded with high in spirits and abundance in helpful suggestions and comments. Let this discussion open the doors for many more Praja initiatives and engagements.

Helpful would be that we take a look at current KSRTC website and see what features and functionality that it should offer.

Let us evaluate and offer suggestions from the user perspective. Let us don the role of an ordinary citizen and try to look for help & info on the website for our upcoming travel.

Here are some examples of travel website worth looking at it.

  1. http://www.wmata.com/
  2. http://www.greyhound.com/home/
  3. http://www.aa.com
  4. http://www.vta.org/
  5. http://www.mbta.com/
 
Please keep the discussion specific to KSRTC website.
 
Syed

Comments

George E Matthew's picture

Google Maps

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This may be slighlty off topic, but relevant.

Google public transit is really conveneint for understanding bus routes for foriegners/outsiders and will really give a boost to public transit use. It takes the ignorance out of the equation.

Mr Syed has pointed to the VTA website. VTA serves 'Silicon Valley", and as a user of this service, I know that it is a small, hard to use means of transport. Buses are infrequent, have long wait times, and not much service to many locations. I have frequently spent 3 hours on a 1 way jouney has takes 30 mins by car.

However, it is very easy to find the most optimal bus route simply because they share routing information with Google. BMTC sharing such information will greatly increase the richer sections (car users) travelling by public transport. I hope the same can be done for KSRTC as well.

Please do not get cynical  and say BMTC/KSRTC cannot do anything like this.Having been dependent on public transport in both nations, I feel that if one knows one's way around BMTC/KSRTC are far superior to anything in USA. The buses are far more frequent, cleaner(at least Volvos) and do not waste the travellers' time. so implementing Google maps is not impossible.

 

 

kbsyed61's picture

Website related only!

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Mr. George,

This discussion is only about KSRTC website. So pls restrict your comments to its presentation, functionality and ease of use. For operational issues discussion pls create a separate post.

FYI, currently I am also in based US. In fact I have lived in Bay Area and know how good their PT system is. US is not a good example for PT systems. The website reference 'www.vta.org' was only to look at its website presentation. Your suggestion for Google Transit is an important one and it is well taken. Pls keep posting your suggestions for enhancing the KSRTC website. 

Syed

Naveen's picture

Copenhagen Bus - Good Example

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This is a link to the journey planner for buses /trains /metro in Copenhagen. Though this web page is city travel related, it may be suitable for KSRTC since the web page demonstrates the ease with which journies can be planned & includes links to relevant maps & other related travel information.

You start by entering details such as from, to, date, time, etc. & obtain various options. The results can be downloaded to a PC & printed in pdf format or it can even be downlaoded on to a mobile phone while on the move.

A sample print-out (in pdf format) that I had actually used can be accessed by clicking here.

kbsyed61's picture

The current website doesn't offer much on travel!

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A cursory look at the KSRTC's current website that is online makes it obvious that there is not much to do with the travel activities on the website. This would be very over generalized statement. Let me try to back it up with details. Here are my first impressions of this website.

First, Positives:

  1. Site appears clean and neat from the looks point of view.
  2. It offers the feature to make a ticket reservation. Capt. Naveen even confirms that it works pretty well.
  3. It seems to offer a peek into the kSRTC information including RTI information.
  4. The present layout and design is fit for KSRTC's INTRANET site.

Negatives:

  1. Looking at the home page one can easily make out that this website is not meant for selling KSRTC services/products.
  2. Travel related information is hardly about 5%. As many of you noted, 95% of information is about KSRTC Organization.
  3. KSRTC organization information including recruitment news ticker should be in background. Travel features should be in fore front.
  4. Only 4 links are something to do with the travel.
  5. Information is not organized in logical sections. Travel & non-travel links, icons are located mixed up.
  6. All the travel info except for Ticket reservation is presented in PDF format. Looks like most of it is not database driven. One has to scroll and search for the required information. All it does is present all the information in one single page.
  7. No consistency in presentation aesthetics - Every page has a different appearance.
  8. Some pages even launch in new browser window.
  9. Do not offer any basic travel service features like Booking the ticket or trip by just entering origin and destination. This is what every travel services website offers.
  10. No feature to download travel related information for route maps, tourist destinations or places of importance
  11. No information on destination and its local sight seeing places
  12. No Feature to obtain information on Dep / arrival status.
  13. Hotel Booking link is not meant for Passengers - Its only for Franchisee and hotel management. Couldn't understand its need.
  14. No feature to trip planning.
  15. No feature to obtain local information of destination cities and towns
  16. No information on location, map and Public transport choices to reach the specified bus stations.
  17. No sign of any discounts or deals.

I think this list and other feedback should have covered majority of the main functions that KSRTC's website is not offering this time.

Syed

minus43's picture

UI improvements for ticket booking workflow

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I created a test account and went through the booking workflow. Screenshots are available at http://picasaweb.google.c....

Following improvements could be made.

  1. First page for booking asks just "first few alphabets" of origin and destination. This page/step can be removed completely and be replaced with a page that collects all travel related information in one form.
  2. Second step/page asks for the more information than it should. The journey time input should be made optional.
  3. Step 2 also offers less options than it should on the origin and destination selection. This arbitrary filter on the origin and destination in step 2 will go away if step 1 is removed.
  4. Origin and destination inputs should have auto-complete feature.
  5. It should be clearly stated how many days in advance can you book near the date inputs. Functionality on date validation also seems to be buggy. It took me a number of tries to arrive at the conclusion that this period is 15 days possibly due to buggy code in date comparison.
  6. Moving to the date input should open the calendar input widget automatically. Currently calendar widget opens in a new window which should be done away with.
  7. Seat availability information should be surfaced in step 3 clearly. Currently it is hidden behind a "Details" line.
  8. In step 4 the requirement of id card information should be done away with. This is more of a process change though than just a UI change. IRCTC used to have this requirement earlier and now has done away with it.
  9. Pickup and drop off points can have links to maps showing the points and transit information.
  10. Payment options are limited to credit card through ICICI and online bank transfer through SBI. This could be increased by tying up with payment gateways that offer larger options or by expanding on options provided by ICICI or SBI gateways whichever is possible.

 

Neeraj Bhope

kbsyed61's picture

Neeraj, thanks for the detailed feedback!

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Neeraj,

Thanks for taking time to review the Reservation or ticket booking module. The review comments you have listed It gives the depth and details that can easily be captured as requirements. Keep up the good work.

kbsyed61's picture

Philosophy and business vision!

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Every website in general is built around a philosophy and a business/social vision. KSRTC website should also be no different.

Providing Bus service is the mandated objective of KSRTC. In that context selling its bus service remains the main activity.

KSRTC would do a big favor to itself and the traveling public, if it can position its website with a philosophy that defines its mandated objective.

  1. Website is primarily and should be meant for selling KSRTC's services and products first. Rest all just additional info residing in background.
  2. It should be there to MAKE MONEY only.
  3. It provides all that helps the public to plan and make the travel bookings right on the website itself.
  4. The website should be a virtual extension of any bus stations from where public can make inquiries, book/purchase tickets , get dep/arrival status and gather additional travel information of the places he/she may visit.
  5. It should be marketed, advertised and make popular to garner 30-40% of the revenue from online transactions.
  6. There is enough technology and tools that can be leverage to allow the people to book their tickets, make inquiries right from the hand held mobile devices.

With this approach KSRTC can realize more efficiency and cost benefits in long run.

Syed

 

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Adding my two cents..

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 a) Website should be able to deliver even at low bandwidths keeping dial-up/mobile users by having light versions.

b) First page should load instantly. It should contain only key feature for user and fetches large chunk of revenue to KSRTC. Idea stollen from Google.

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
idontspam's picture

Make money only website?

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 @syed, the website should also allow for dissemination of information. Wont make money only as an objective start getting other things thrown out of the website?   

kbsyed61's picture

IDS, agree, disseminate info to make money!

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IDS,

The objective of making money is only realized when the KSRTC provides all the travel info to the user. Therefore dissemination of information is the key to make money.

Since KSRTC is a public corporation, by law it is obligated to keep all its information public. That is always done by providing separate section which need not be in forefront.

I think I need to clarify one important thing. KSRTC shouldn't do away with all the information they have provided on the current webiste. It is just that they need to re-organize logically and place it appropriately on the wbsite.


kbsyed61's picture

A basic comparison with other PT systems Websites !

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Thanks to Santsub, One of our Praja member,  here is a very good written anaysis comparing KSRTC website with other very well known Public transport system websites. Here is the link for the document.

http://www.slideshare.net/kbsyed61/ksrtc-website-comparison-analysis

kbsyed61's picture

Santosh, One correction!

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Santosh,

The Metro service from WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) doesn't extend to DELAWARE. It just covers the vicinity of Washington DC connecting to adjacent suburbs from Virgina and Maryland States. It's a very good PT system in the area.

Other than that, you have given a very good picture onto how WMATA and Grey Hound websites fares against KSRTC website.

Syed

idontspam's picture

Good effort Santosh

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 Essentially captures good standards. Will be good if there are more inputs from other praja on what they would like to see. 

santsub's picture

KSRTC Basic Site analysis and Vision for the website

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We have put together a vision for KSRTC.in 2.0 along with a basic analysis to set stage to the ongoing KSRTC website analysis on Praja. Feel free to send in your comments here.

Thanks in advance! 

Vision :
http://www.slideshare.net...

 

Analysis :
http://www.slideshare.net...

tsubba's picture

beautiful work

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excellent work boys. way to go.

santsub's picture

Firtst concept for KSRTC - to fine tune their requirements

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Guys

 

I am posting a concept here for KSRTC website to set stage to work with them in finetuning their requirements and propose a new user interface with great features. Please feel free to post your feedback

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/eJ_ORRyMMaMeUoQLlj5Rsg?feat=directlink

Thanks in advance! 

idontspam's picture

 Way.. way.. more organized

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Good work,  Way.. way.. more organized than it exists. Logical groupings are good links not all over the place. Section required for preview and link to corporate stuff and info like jobs, tenders etc. 

kbsyed61's picture

Corporate info could go under 'Inside KSRTC'!

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IDS, I think corporate info would go under 'Inside KSRTC' which is shown at the bottom. Same thing should be true for Jobs, tenders etc. Santosh, am I right? Section for Preview? hint please.......
santsub's picture

Re: Corporate Info could go under "inside KSRTC"

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 Syed Absolutely right it is a different microsite for KSRTC exclusive information we do not want to bombard users with not so related information so if some one is interested in the organization they will dig in :) 

 

Thanks


Santosh

kbsyed61's picture

Support for low speed connectivity!

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Santosh, In the new design, I think KSRTC need to account for the support to people who would be connecting with a very low speed (as low as 9600 bps).
idontspam's picture

Menu rejig

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 we do not want to bombard users with not so related information

True, we should check with KSTRC contact the relevance and priority of putting such information out on the front page. How much of a productive channel is this site for job seekers and business partners? 

Also the bottom menu items need to be classified for ex. Hotel bookings and Car rentals are all travel related services and could go in tabs at the top, IT in KSRTC is a part of Inside KSRTC. RTI and Schemes belong to News and Information, Terms of transportation, Privacy, Terms of use are all Legal. e-procurement is business partner and should be a part of login like member/operator (these types need to be checked with the contact)

santsub's picture

All these are factors to conside

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Its great to get feedback to do a card sorting exercise to group different links. The design out here is only a concept and is not anywhere close to the final product. 

Yes we will have to keep in mind a whole lot of things including the bandwidth issue when it comes to users who have low speed connections. I posted this only to get a shift in thinking - towards a more usable website thats robust with right features, branding, user friendly, disabled friendly and bottom line will help position KSRTC in a win win position.

minus43's picture

Feedback on UI mock

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Hi Santosh,

We like the direction the UI mock has set. Low bandwidth issue can be tackled during implementation by dropping out optional images etc. Now that we have technical contacts in KSRTC we should find out the following:

  1. Target audience and use cases
  2. Current website usage statistics: Number of booking trasactions per day, number of pageviews on each category of pages (schedule, booking, corporate, RTI etc)
  3. Backend/Frontend technical issues faced.

Once we have this data we could move faster towards finlazing on the UI proposal.

Neeraj Bhope

santsub's picture

Neeraj

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I agree with you as far as loading is concerned I think we can convert most of the page renderings into CSS files and images are only minimal like the logo etc. It should work. I am more concerned about loading AJAX features. May be we can have a non JavaScript version that can handle that. but I presume we are talking implementation before we have our requirements nailed down :) but its exciting to talk about these things - keep it coming hope to talk to you guys soon  

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