London has one of the most accessible transport networks in the world, but whilst we have made progress on accessibility, we recognise there is an enormous amount of work still to do.
Senior members of the TfL Online, Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement teams met with representatives of Transport for All on Thursday. The meeting was called to discuss how TfL can improve the experience of using Journey Planner for wheelchair users and those with accessibility needs.
This gave us a great opportunity to engage with a very knowledgeable group who were able to give us valuable insights into how we can continue to make improvements to Journey Planner and the way we serve our information.
A key outcome for Transport for All is that these improvements will mean wheelchair users are not reliant on personal experience and knowledge of travelling in London, and are instead served more accurate, reliable information to plan journeys. It‘s crucial that those with accessibility needs aren’t put off making certain journeys due to any gaps or inaccuracies in the information they receive.
This blog looks at TfL’s widgets and Open Data for developers, including our recent improvements. Get your website looking great with our redesigned Journey Planner widget!
What is a widget ?
A “widget” is a stand-alone application that can be embedded into third party sites by any user on a page where they have rights of authorship. Widgets can be considered as a downloadable small application which look and act like traditional apps, but are implemented using web technologies and our API.
What’s new ?
In October 2014, we re-designed our journey planner widget and banner to give them the same look and feel as our new website. The new widget also has email authentication built in so that we can get in touch with you quicker in future if we intend to change the widgets.
Myself and the Journey Planner team all attended the Access All Areas event at ExCeL London at the start of this month, which was a free public exhibition and conference about disabled and older people’s access to transport.
The event highlighted current and future innovations aimed at making it easier for everyone to get out and about in London. It also provided an opportunity for disabled and older people and their organisations to discuss priorities for accessibility with leaders in the transport field, whilst giving our team a valuable insight into how to further develop our information and options related to accessibility.
Building solid foundations
First came the brief: Design a new look and feel for tfl.gov.uk: a site used by 75% of Londoners that already has a satisfaction score of 90% and working in an ‘agile’ project with the TfL team and two other agencies.
No problem, we’ll just go and fetch our thinking caps and get started.
However, what we hadn’t quite appreciated was the fact that when you’re in the pub in London and you mention you are working on the new TfL site – absolutely EVERYBODY has an opinion.
So no pressure then…
Where on earth to begin?
Last week TfL Online hosted a workshop to update various Accessibility partners and charities on the beta website, and asked for their help to further test the site and give feedback as we run-up to the full official launch in the Autumn.