You’ll notice a change at tfl.gov.uk today as we’ve switched over completely to our new website.
We’ve been trialling it in beta since mid 2013 and adding elements, but it’s now become ready to replace the old desktop and mobile site.
The posts on this blog have kept you up to date on the design and development of our new website and given you a look behind the scenes as the build has progressed.
With the new site just about to launch, this short video summarises the key features and improvements we’ve made and what you can expect from the new site.
With our brand new website just about to launch, we took a trip down memory lane and looked over the evolution of our website from 2002 through to today.
Amazingly, back in 2002 our website did not include information for the Tube! This was on a separate site and London Underground came into the main TfL website a little while later – you can see it in the 2004 image.
As you will see from these images, the site changed dramatically in 2007 and this was the last time the site received major redevelopment. Finally, our 2014 images show the new site and it’s mobile-friendly design which will be launching in the next few days.
Have a look through these images and see how many you remember!
In Part 1 of this post I talked about the reasons we have not released a TfL app alongside our new website, and how our ‘open data’ policy powers around 200 apps currently in use. Part 2 looks more closely at apps, including issues around apps for our transactional services such as Oyster.
Can you recommend a good app?
We don’t recommend specific apps as that wouldn’t be fair, but there are lots of good public transport apps available and you can view recommendations in the app stores and make up your own mind. They are generally low cost, so if you don’t get on with one of them you can easily move on to another.
A question we’ve been asked many times when gathering feedback on our new website is when we’ll develop smartphone apps for travel tools such as Journey Planner, maps, bus and Tube arrivals and service status.
What many people don’t realise is that, while we don’t provide a smartphone app ourselves, we provide all the data that powers the 200 or so apps which are already available.
TfL’s social channels have played a key role in providing feedback on the Beta website
Our social media presence has been growing at an incredible pace in recent years as more and more users access the internet on mobile devices and real time information on the move becomes ever more important to our customers. To put that growth into context, just two years ago we had 2 Twitter feeds and 1 Facebook page with around 13,000 followers, and today we have 25 Twitter feeds and 2 Facebook pages with around 1.34 million followers.
TfL’s Web Analysts look at how weather events and changing technology are impacting site traffic
An analyst likes unusual numbers – especially big ones, and a couple of what we call ‘weather events’ provided us with plenty of excitement in 2013. In October, the stormy weather saw record visits to TfL’s mobile website as commuters braved the adverse conditions to make their way to work. As those on the move sought out the latest travel information, nearly 730,000 visits were made to the mobile site on Monday October 28th, compared to 156,000 the previous Monday.
Looking back a little further, we had a record-breaking month in January 2013 as snow caused disruption to much of the country’s travel network . As the snow started to fall on January 18th, the desktop site was visited over a million times between 10am and 6pm – nearly 4 times the usual Friday traffic and TfL’s websites overall received nearly 5 million more visits during the month compared to the previous January (22m vs 17.3 m).
Today we’ve put the final features into our beta website. This means it’s finished and ready to replace our existing site. We’re going to run the two in parallel for a little while longer to give you the chance to comment on the new stuff and to check everything is working as expected. We’ll also use the time to make a few final tweaks and fix any major bugs.
Today we’ve launched the third major release into our ever-improving beta site. This one has two cool new tools to help you get around London using all the services that we have to offer.
Nearby is a completely new tool which places you on a map and shows you all the Tube, bus, river, Overground, DLR, National Rail and Cycle Hire locations around you.
You can interact with these on the map and get live information for all of them (apart from National Rail, which we’ll add in due course).
I’m Gerard, and I work on the data side of the new Journey Planner, contributing to its technical specification.
Complementing the award-winning user experience work being done on the new website, we are hard at work ensuring that the dataset which powers Journey Planner is constantly being improved to meet the ever-growing demands of website users and open data subscribers.