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.
We first met a number of the group last year at the start of the project, as we gathered requirements. So this was a chance to show them what we’d been busy doing, over those many months!
We ran the afternoon workshop over in North Greenwich, inviting a core group of stakeholders to test the site’s resilience against a whole raft of varying accessibility needs.
While it’s always good to hear feedback on the new site first hand, according to the user experience experts who put together the afternoon’s session – Rob Crawford and Michael Campbell – the workshop had several purposes.
Its primary purpose was to update our stakeholders on what has been happening since the requirements gathering stage of the design process, explaining the background to the design of the new website: demonstrating that we have listened and acted on feedback from the first sessions and that we’re committed to ongoing engagement.
The session also helped us explain the key developments and new features which demonstrate the forward-thinking innovations that have gone into the new site. And by getting the stakeholders to complete a series of tasks designed to test the new site to its limits we hoped that they’d also be excited by how well it performed, and the new responsive design!
Following some background talks and presentations on the user and accessibility testing we completed, the stakeholders were let loose on the new site with a whole range of mobile devices; from smart phones to laptops and tablets: also using assistive devices such as screen readers, braille terminals and keyboard overlays.After 45 minutes exploring the site and testing Journey Planner the team were asked to submit any reactions, suggestions or criticisms back to the designers, allowing us to address any issues and make improvements before the next round of tests.
It’s all part of the process we have to go through: making sure that TfL honours its commitment to all customers and that when the new website fully launches it will include the features you need and want. To a large extent, that will be down to the people that took the time to take part in testing like this, to the many that have completed the feedback form on the beta site and those that comment on this blog of course!