1. Introduction
  2. Section 1: Lets start off with some user stories
  3. Section 2: What problems can we identify from the user stories above?
  4. Section 3: The Fix
  5. Conclusion
  6. A bit about us

Introduction

Our CEO, Adrian Wirz, uses the Goppenstein & Lötschbeg car tunnel connection and asked us to do our second episode of “roast my product” about the ticket buying process user experience. He shared with us about how it’s costed him extra time and nerves just to get a ticket every time he needs to pass through. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a rework, so let‘s get right into it.

Section 1: Lets start off with some user stories

Adrian takes the Lötschberg pass through from canton Bern to get to canton Valais once at least every two months and every time he does, he inevitably has to purchase a ticket to go onto the pass carriage with his car. Adrian could go around the Lötschberg Pass via Montreux or through the valleys from Bern to Valais, which he prefers not to do since it takes longer.

To get his ticket, Adrian needs to do the following:

  1. Visit https://www.bls.ch/en
  2. Select his journey of choice with the date and time he would like to travel
  3. This takes him to a trip planner interface where he can check a timetable of when the next departures are
  4. After he selected his desired journey, he is redirected to a new website hosted here https://autoverlad-ticketshop.bls.ch/BLS_ticketshop.aspx?strecke=KaGo&lang=en-en#step-1
  5. Adrian then needs to go through a series of 5 steps, starting with selecting a journey again!
  6. Adrian selects the journey, again.
  7. He selects a journey time, again.
  8. He adds it to a shopping basket.
  9. He goes on to step 2- where he provides credentials.
  10. Step 3 takes him on to a payment portal.
  11. Step 4 takes him to a booking confirmation page.
  12. But hold up, that‘s not all..
  13. He receives his ticket via email and needs to present it to the counter as he drives his car onto the Lötschberg tunnel car carriage.

Section 2: What problems can we identify from the user stories above?

1. There are too many steps.
2. Users get lost or give up and just buy a ticket at the counter at the actual tunnel entrance for 3CHF more than the price online instead. Which doesn’t guarantee a spot on the carraige for them, so its a bit risky.
3. Too many tabs and buttons = too many options for the user.
4. Redirecting a user to a new website to finish the ticket buying process is a no-go since it lowers trust.
5. Receiving a ticket via email generates extra effort for BLS, and so does it for the user. For BLS, it means having a backend where these tickets are generated and being sent to the user and for the user it means having to dig through emails to get your ticket once you‘re at the tunnel entrance. The possibility for it landing in a spam folder is there, too.

Section 3: The Fix

We experienced the current flow a few times, and came up with a simplified ticket buying user interface and user flow for BLS.

  • Choose your journey here. You can also buy more than one ticket if you‘d like to. There are 2 types of tickets: Weekday tickets and weekend tickets.
  • Log in to your BLS account here or create a new account in less than 40 seconds.
  • Click on “Pay”
  • You‘re good to go! You can download your ticket here and in case there is some internal reason for BLS to send their tickets via email we tell the user that it’s available to them if they check their inbox as well.

Conclusion

As we mentioned in our previous episode of “roast my product”, simplicity is at the forefront of building any type of user interface.

A bit about us

We are a group of startup-orientated techies who dream of a world filled with opportunities for early stage startups. We love to support founders who are at a later stage, as well, but our dream is to see more young businesses take off thanks to our cost friendly all-rounder service package for startups. We call it CTO as a Service. Everything you need, from design to implementation, we take care of. It doesnt only stop there- you could consider us as your partners. With a direct line of contact via discord and regular update calls (a.k.a sprints), we‘re there to advise you to make the right decisions for your users. In the recording of the podcast episode for this roast, you meet the most front-facing part of the team, the product team, who will help you build a well-researched tech product/solution for your users, not just an interim solution that costs you thousands. To learn more, check out our offering here: https://pyango.ch/campaigns/cto-as-a-service/ . It shouldn’t take you more than 6 minutes to know whether its the right offering for you.