An Effective Journey Planner
A big part of the project was the journey planner. This needed to allow users to plan a journey from A to B, with an emphasis on promotion of more sustainable options for that journey. We explored use of datasets provided by KCC as well as open source options. In the end we decided to use Google Maps data to power the journey planning tool and lay some roadworks data (from KCC) over this. We found the Google Maps data to offer the best real time traffic info and logical route options. It was important for us to make the user experience of the tool marry with the website messaging. To promote greener travel we used calculations to show health benefits and pollution stats for travel options to better inform users around choices.
We also took a deliberate decision not to lead with maps on the planner where a journey was by public transport. It’s so often the default view with a tool like this but with the tool predominantly aimed at Kent Residents who know the likely journey they’ll be planning, we felt it better to focus on the journey steps. Also, from experience with user testing on other projects, we know not all users are comfortable with maps.
However, for journeys where a map is of more use, we switched to show the options on a map-based display. For example where cycling is an option, a map and elevation display works best.