Since the new website launched on Monday evening it has served over 6 million pages in 1 million visits from 900,000 customers. This is a little more than normal, reflecting the increased interest around the new site.
We’ve also received plenty of useful feedback with the full range of opinions, from the site being great through to hopelessly flawed. In this post I’ll try and address some of your key questions and explain our thinking a little.
Site performance and links
Initially we had some performance problems, which meant the site was slow in places and certain elements did not work well. Despite numerous load and functional tests before launch we did not pick up this particular problem.
In the end it was easily resolved and good performance was restored, now mirroring what we were expecting.
Some of you were frustrated that links you previously used had been broken. Where we could we put in redirects but inevitably we missed some. We’ve added most of the ones which were causing real problems now.
Where can I find downloadable bus maps?
It’s clear from your feedback that some of you love the ‘spider’ maps and area maps, which are pdfs.
We’ve created some really nice interactive maps that show you transport links near your given location (try them in ‘Nearby’), and display live information such as bus routes and stops, and cycle hire docking stations.
However it’s clear that for some this can’t replace the original maps, so we’ll be adding these to the new site shortly as well.
I have an older phone or browser – why does it not work so well?
There is a balance to be made between offering really rich interactions (which require more modern devices and browsers) and providing a basic experience for those with older technology.
We’ve tried to get this right by ensuring that if you don’t have the very latest smartphone, the core functionality of the site will still work, although you may lose some features.
However there is a limit to which we can do this and still deliver everything in one site. We’re looking at whether we’ve done enough for some older devices and we will be making updates where necessary to help.
Why do you have a big image on the homepage?
Often we have messages about our services and improvements which we need to share with you. This visual space enables us to get these across in a really effective way. On a mobile it’s smaller and more subtle, but still there.
We realise that we are part of the fabric of London and we want to reflect that in the imagery that we use, not just of transport, but of the city and all that it has to offer, so you can expect to see those sorts of images over time.
We’ll also be using the space for some commercial offers, such as the ones we’re running with Google Play and New York/British Airways right now. This helps to offset the cost of running the site.
What was wrong with the old site – can I have it back?
I was part of the team that built the old site, which we launched in 2007. At the time that was a massive change and was not immediately liked by all. Few would now argue that it was not a vast improvement over what went before.
The good news is that we’ll be continuously improving and adding to this site, just as we did with the last one. I’m sure those of you who are not convinced about the new site will grow to like it more over time.
In the meantime do please keep your comments coming – we are listening carefully. While not everything can be done immediately we’re working hard to make the site better still.