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Image by Nicola Nuttall

Indian Railway Ticket
Redesign

Traveling by train is most wonderful experience since our childhood. But searching for our coach number, seat number & other required information from railway ticket is very frustrating task. In this project I tried to re-imagine Indian Railway in increase usability aspect & provide a delightful experiences to passengers as well as railway staffs.
 

Team

Responsibilies

Tools

Solo UI/UX Designer
 

Duration

1 Week
 

UX Research
Requirement Gathering
User Interviews
Idea Exploration
Visual Design

 

Figma
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
Pen
Paper

 

The Problem
Image by Pawel Czerwinski

The Problem

Catching a railway at the railway station can be an overwhelming experience and the existing railway ticket make us feel no better. The goal of this one week project was to redesign the Indian railway ticket without changing its form/size, to make life easier for passengers and railway staff.

Who all uses the ticket?

Who all uses the ticket?

A wide range of people right from children to adults and people with disabilities or those who require assistance, come to the railway station and majority of them rely on the paper version of the railway ticket to navigate their way to the train. Tickets are usually printed with few colors on thin sheets of paper to save costs. For this project, I looked at how the current design of these tickets can be improved with minimal cost increase for the Indian railway and at the same time improve the readability and scannability for the passengers. The first part of our process was to identify the various user group who interact with the tickets and understand what their needs and expectations are, and what is it that they are trying to find or expect to see in a railway ticket.

Personas

Passengers

Occasional Traveller
Frequent Traveller
People Requiring Assistance

Railway Staff

Important Information

Train Number
Train Name
Time of Train
Destination
Name of Passenger
Coach Number
Seat Number

PNR Number

Train Number
Destination
Name of Passenger
Coach Number
Seat Number

PNR Number

Areas of Improvement

During the discovery stage, I conducted 15-20 min interviews with 8 passengers, ranging from frequent travellers to occasional travellers to find out what problems they face while using the boarding pass. Some of the problems that we identified were:
 

  • Poor visual hierarchy of information. Difficult to scan your coach number, seat number & time of train

 

  • Difficulty in identifying names of passengers on railway ticket especially when several people are traveling together.

 

  • The form factor and the size of the ticket is difficult to handle, as it is not pocketable and there is a fear of losing the ticket.

 

  • Passengers usually fold the tickets and keep in their purse/wallets to keep it safe and easily accessible.

 

  • Handling the ticket becomes even more difficult if you have more luggage and/or are carrying a baby.

Areas of Improvement
Conflicting Metrics

Conflicting Metrics

Ease of use for Passengers


Vs


Ease of use for Railway staff

But there were some conflicting metrics that I had to keep in mind before I began solving for those problems. For the design to be successful, it was important for it to strike a good balance between these metrics.

Cost of printing


Vs

Use of Color

Sketch Exploration

Sketch Exploration

After conducting the initial research, I came to sketch designs for the ticket. Each sketch experimenting with visual hierarchy, placement, colors, relationships, and form.

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Gathering Feedback

Gathering Feedback

COMPARING AGAINST METRICS

I conducted a design critique session with some users and evaluated the designs based on the metrics discussed earlier such as cost to the railway, use of color, ease of handling, scanability for the passengers, ease of use for the railway staff. This helped in acknowledging trade-offs and narrowing down our design choices.

Visual Design Explorations

Visual Design Explorations

I designed 2 visual variations and tested it with users.

Railway_Ticket2.png

Exploration 1

Railway_Ticket1

Exploration 2

Railway_Ticket1_Blank

Most useful information kept on left side of ticket

Feedback

Feedback

All the 2 design variations tested well with passengers but the 2nd design option tested the best.

The left side of ticket used to show most useful informatiion from passenger point of view. Also, the use of rectangles to make group of similar category information is helpful for passenger ad railway staff which improves scanability effectively.

 

  • The use of railway ticket format is similar to current ticket will helpfil for consistancy in design of brand identity

 

  • From the variations between blue and white - Indian railway's branding colors, blue stood out more from a distance.

 

  • Users liked the ability to fold the ticket and keep it on their wallet, purse; however, some users expressed concern about the ticket falling off.

 

  • I, however, could not get feedback from the railway staff.

Reflections and Learning

I realized that what might seem like a simple problem might have a lot of underlying complexity to it. 
Balancing different metrics is a hard thing to do and it's very hard to achieve a perfect balance.

 In learning point of view, I honed my visual design skills while striving for pixel perfection. Overall, this project was a good break from the digital products that I usually design and I enjoyed every part of it.  

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