Project details

Full project title: Transport Direct usability

Sponsor: Department for Transport

Principal investigator: Professor Glenn Lyons

Principal researcher: Dr Susan Kenyon

Start date: September 2002

Finish date: December 2002

Project summary

Transport Direct was announced in July 2000 as part of the Government's ten year spending plan for transport. It is an ambitious programme to provide the UK with a travel information service that can present the public with the opportunity to compare travel options across public and private transport modes. Using the Internet as its principal delivery medium it seeks to offer a one-stop-shop journey planning, booking and payment service, complemented with real-time update information.

For Transport Direct to be effective as an information service it will need to be useful, usable and used. To be useful it will have to provide access to information that is of relevance and value to end users. To be usable it will need to provide a service structure and interface that is intuitive and easy to use providing quick and convenient access to information sought. To be used the public will need to be aware of its existence, know how to access it, have the means to access it and consider it their preferred service in an information marketplace that is already well populated with a range of different types of travel information services.

This project involved providing expert input to the Transport Direct team at the Department for Transport (DfT). Expert input was important to ensure usability issues were properly considered during negotiations for the major design, build, operate contract that will deliver the Transport Direct Internet portal. Input also involved preparing for further market research concerning the usability testing of the portal. Finally the project provided the DfT with a guideline document on how to manage and address usability issues during the lifetime of the DBO contract.