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“…or is it just me?”

February 28, 2014

I went to a great presentation yesterday evening about User Experience tonight near Farringdon station. (Shout out to @UXPhil and @ComplexityTamed)

Confusing tube map © David Shrigley

Farringdon is a difficult place for me to get to/from and I was idly wondering whether using overground (ThamesLink) would have a ticketing implication for me (is my PAYG Oyster valid on the service? Is travel on the service included in the same daily cap as underground?) I feel like I might once have known the answer when I lived in London, but now it was not obvious to me.

A succinct thought: – Am I a reasonably intelligent person? Yes. – Given that, if something isn’t immediately obvious to me, could it be “just me” misunderstanding? No. – Therefore, some minimum standard of obviousness has not been met.

When my experience of a service provision isn’t obvious to me, it makes me feel stupid and disempowered. Then when I realise it isn’t “just me” I feel angry.

These aren’t emotions we want to invoke in our users and are something to be avoided.

P.S. turns out that yes, travelling via TL in zone 1 is equivalent to underground for PAYG Oyster card. In retrospect though, it would have been better value for me to have bought a travelcard with my super off-peak ticket into London, which is significantly less than the travelcard cap on PAYG Oyster. The same doesn’t apply to standard off-peak (i.e. non-super) tickets, and it wouldn’t have applied if I’d have only done two single tube journeys as I’d originally planned.

That’s obvious, right?

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