(This is the text I put in the BR feedback form. In hindsight, it is probably a bit aggressive.)
The usability of your train times service is, frankly, pretty shocking. :-|
Here are some deficiencies I see in the current interface; see the bottom of
this message for an alternative UI suggestion.
- You cunningly set the default time to "now", but don't set a default date. If
I just change the time to "1pm", and it's now 10am, which day do you think I
mean? If I don't specify a date, it should assume I mean "today" if the time
if after "now", or tomorrow, if it's before "now".
- Better yet, it should have the quick-access radio buttons the previous
incarnation had for "today" and "tomorrow". Even better, the date field should
use some available module like Perl's Date::Parse, so it can understand
natural language dates like "12th April".
- If I want to go from Gordon Hill to Kings Cross, it asks me if I mean Kings
Cross Thameslink or London Kings Cross. Well, duh. :-) There's a direct train
to one, and not to the other, and they are right next door. Even if I ask for
"direct trains only" it still asks me, even though there are no direct trains
from Gordon Hill to Kings Cross Thameslink.
- The text boxes for entering station names are too small. size="9"? How many
stations are nine letters or less?
- Depart/Arrive should be a radio button - it's a choice of two things, not an
- The time entry should be freeform text, and again allow things like "12pm",
1:34 (where it would sensibly assume 1.34pm and not 1.34 in the morning) and
so on. Ambiguities could be clarified later, but it should figure it out in
- The little "animated train" buttons for "later" and "earlier" are irritating;
why not just have arrows? Then it's always clear at a glance what the buttons
So, just to prove I'm not just a whinger, I've done a usable redesign of the
timetable form, which addresses some of the points above. Obviously it's not
polished, but I hope it can give you an idea of what a better interface might
look like. You can find it here:
Hope that's helpful,