Dear Translink (and anyone else reading), here's a challenge. The scenario is that you're a student and you've heard a rumour there's a bus that goes between Belfast (is it Queens?) to The University of Ulster campus out at Jordanstown. The challenge is to go to the Translink website and find the timetable.
I'll give you five minutes.
My natural instinct was to click on Students in the main menu bar. Though perhaps staff would want to catch the bus too, so just sticking it under students wouldn't be the whole story.
So you've got to a page that mentions Unilink ... but where's the timetable, or even a list of the stops? I couldn't find a direct link from there, but clicking on the Special Discount Student Bus Fares more info link in the Special Offers box did bring me to a page that linked to a specific Unilink bus page, that has a link near the top to timetables that doesn't work, but you'll have more joy scrolling down to the bottom of the page and where you'll find a link to the Unilink timetable PDF.
But then, maybe I should have used the Journey Planner on the homepage and gone from "QUB" to "UUJ" ... except that would have translated into a journey from "Queens Road Science Park" to "Ulster Amercn Folk Pk Entrance"!
Turns out that the trick might be to ask it to plot a journey between "Queens University University S" and "Jordanstown University" ... which suggests the 163A bus during daytime hours Monday to Friday. (163A is the Unilink service.)
Suggestion. A new user story for Translink website designers.
As a university student or member of staff at UUJ
I want to be able to easily find details of buses between Belfast and the UUJ campus using the keywords "Unilink", "Belfast", "Jordanstown", "QUB" or "UUJ"
So that I can find a bus to college and back without getting RSI or giving up in frustration with the Translink website
The acceptance criteria might be
- being able to access the time table with no more than two clicks (pages) from the Translink homepage;
- being able to use UUJ or Jordanstown as search criteria;
- being able to find the timetable in a list of other bus services without having to know that 163A as a magic codeword.
Oh, and isn't it time for Translink to be a bit more specific with the bus stop locations. "Queen's University: Botanic Avenue" isn't that precise? How far down Botanic Avenue is it? Right at the gate? Near Duke's hotel?