Most people come to the TfL website to find out how to get from A-B. It’s that simple, and they don’t look at much else.
But as well as great tools, the website has to carry a lot of information. Some of it is stuff that we want to tell you, but a lot of it is stuff that you need to know – or at least need to be able to find when you need it.
As well as public transport, we are responsible for running London’s main road network. We administer the Congestion Charge and the Low Emission Zone, we look after Cycle Superhighways and we license taxis and minicabs. We also have to make sure that information about our projects such as the Tube improvement plan is easy to find. It’s the job of the Content Team to explain, in plain English, how all these things work.
It’s a lot of information.
Not only that, but we have a lot of different audiences. The biggest group is the travelling public, but even that can be broken down into smaller sub-groups such as people with accessibility needs, visitors to London, cyclists, drivers etc.
Beyond that we deal with the boroughs, the press, businesses, schools, the construction industry, apps developers and many other groups such as taxi drivers.
So, not just a lot of information, but a lot of different audiences too.
The first step in helping to redesign the new TfL website was to find out what we had on the current website. This was a painstaking, manual process of looking at every single page. Since the last redesign in 2007, the number of pages has grown and grown. We found a lot of the information wasn’t in places where it was useful or easy to find and some of it was over-complicated and outdated.
We then we took on the vast task of how to organise content on the new website. Working with our suppliers we came up with a structure that divided the information according to the audience most likely to need it.
This has sometimes meant grouping things together differently on the new site.
Information aimed at the travelling public is in the new task bar at the top of the pages and everything for more niche audiences has moved to the footer.
We also had to think about how to name the areas of the site to help people find what they need.
We went through rounds of user testing to check the ways in which we were ordering the information made sense, was easy to navigate, and also that the names made sense to people.
Of course, while we continue to test each stage of the redesign with users we always value any feedback. And as the new site unrolls we want to hear from you. Why not let us know what you think via our feedback form at the top of the new site, or leave a comment below?