Archived: Running guerrilla research for the new TfL website

lucia_100x100IMG_9489For the 11 weeks prior to the new website’s launch, TfL talked to 90 commuters at St James’ Park Station; you could have been one of them. We recruited passers-by on one day a week, from March to May 2013. If you did happen to take part, please leave a comment below – we’d love to hear your feedback!

Technically, this type of research is called guerrilla research.


So what does it mean? Well, it’s a quick and inexpensive way of gathering feedback from real people in real-life situations. It’s also very versatile, and can be used in any phase of a project to gather insights into general behaviours or to answer more specific questions. In this case, it helped TfL get to know more about you, their customers, and also provided answers to very specific questions that the designers and developers had whilst developing the new site.IMG_9510A team of researchers used the 55 Broadway TfL offices as a base to run guerrilla research: based in the reception area of the offices residing in St James’ Park tube station. We started during a harsh season with snow and low temperatures, but we loved getting first-hand feedback from real people on the newly introduced site functionality, such as ‘live departures’ and ‘nearby’, as well as the familiar ones like the ‘journey planner’ and ‘timetables’ that went through a complete redesign, thanks to you as well!

This was a perfect location to recruit a variety of participants from the general public, with different levels of experience of travelling in London, differing technological awareness and varied experiences of the TfL website.


As well as helping us test the new site, a couple of participants recognised the architectural value of the building that has recently been awarded Grade I listed status for its ‘great historical significance’. You can read more about that here. This type of location was intimate and quiet, enabling us to set up comfortably for a whole day of research, and we certainly hope you see the results of your input as the new site unrolls…

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