Redesigning the Mumbai Local Train Ticket

Information design in most public interfaces in India is extremely poor. Here’s our take on the design of the Mumbai Local Railway Ticket.

Information design in most public interfaces in India is extremely poor. Here’s our take on the design of the Mumbai Local Railway Ticket.

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The Ticketmaster issuing tickets from the ATVM to the passengers.

As designers, it’s intuitive to pause and notice everyday objects and how they make us feel. Almost daily there are countless moments of “could this be better?” or moments of awe at the delight of carefully designed objects and experiences.

As a part of a series examining our interactions with daily objects and environments — we took a stab at designing the railway ticket.

What’s wrong with it anyway?

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Current Mumbai Local Railway Ticket: Observations.

Information Hierarchy, Typography, Repetition, Irrelevance and Aesthetic Imbalance are areas of opportunity to improve the design.

Talking about these one-by-one:

1. Eliminating repetition would ease out some space.

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Current Local Ticket: Repetition in information.

2. Grouping of similar information — There are various codes scattered on the ticket layout that is not possible to make sense of for the commuter. Neither does the ticket master scan them while checking tickets. Similarly, journey details are spread out.

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Current Local Ticket: Grouping information that is not required for immediate access.

3. It’s not very friendly for Hindi (regional language) reading commuters.

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Current Local Ticket: Very minimal information in the native language, Hindi.

4. The watermark, which is essential in ticket design to avoid counterfeiting practices, clashes with the ticket information.

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Current Local Ticket: Railway logo pattern.

Rules of the game

It’s not a designer’s fantasy. We’ve taken into consideration these practical constraints:

1. Limited usage of colours for cost effectiveness and a lean printing process. The current ticket uses black, brown and blue.

2. Space scarcity — There is indeed a lot of content to fit in on limited real estate. There is an additional challenge of including the same information in the regional language.

3. Need for an anti-counterfeiting element —  Indian Railways being the only authorised body to issue railway tickets, the design needs to incorporate anti-counterfeiting measures.

4. The printing method — all types of tickets are printed using the same machine — the implication is the inability to create colour variants based on class or other types.

The Redesign

Our design of the Mumbai Local Ticket

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Current Local Ticket: Very minimal information in the native language, Hindi.

1. High Contrast
2. Optimised Information Heirarchy
3. Minimal use of colour and ticket variations
4. Localisation (Imagery and Langauge)

Hope you enjoyed our attempt at redesigning the Mumbai Railway ticket. Drop in your comments below.

. . .

The human captcha!

“I’m not a robot”, the captcha says, asking you to check the box beside it. Enter some garbled text to prove that you are not a piece of code. Identify a common object.

“I’m not a robot”, the captcha says, asking you to check the box beside it. Enter some garbled text to prove that you are not a piece of code. Identify a common object.

The captcha experience!

The captcha experience!

This made me question — why? And does it have to be so boring?

We turned the phrase around, reframing it as “Prove that you’re human”, and making it the title for this ‘project’. We started finding situations where it would be necessary for someone to prove they are human.

Our launch party, thus, was our perfect chance to play with this concept. An aha moment — let’s create a forced barrier to entry — what if we find engaging ways for people to prove they are human before they interact with a certain aspect of the event. A play of words — “humans only — please prove you are human to enter”. A game — “make something human before you unlock your right to get a piece of cake”

And so the concepts started pouring in.

With just a week in hand to create this tangible interface — the challenge was exciting.

The Concept

From the ones that emerged, one particularly struck us. But before talking about it, I’ll invite you to try it:

The Captcha walkthrough!

The Design

Introduction page

The Introduction page.

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A huge geometric triangle pattern to crack in 5 seconds, an impossible task to humans.

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A complex equation to solve in 5 seconds, which is again an impossible task.

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Options to the complex equation. All the options are incorrect, which the user is oblivious to.

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The final screen, welcoming everyone as they all got the answers wrong to impossible questions, as they were all human.

Creating delight!

Words cannot express enough in here, so we are putting up some videos of how people reacted to the human captcha!

Recording of reactions of people responding to the captcha: Participant 1

Recording of reactions of people responding to the captcha: Participant 2

What’s your take on the captcha? We’re curating fun ways to “prove you’re human”. Send in your ideas to hello@thehumanexperience.io and we’ll be happy to feature your work here.

Celebrations galore! Human. is born.

Goodbye CraftUX. Welcome Human.

With the inception of human., we are opening new doors to the outer world and reaching out to more wonderful humans out there. One such occasion was the launch of human.

Goodbye CraftUX. Welcome Human.

With the inception of human., we are opening new doors to the outer world and reaching out to more wonderful humans out there. One such occasion was the launch of human.

Here are the highlights from the party! We hope you enjoy the snaps.

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Got our brand motto up at the right place. And, of course, got the party mood right.

There were lots of munchies and delicious refreshments. And, the best cake ever!

There were lots of munchies and delicious refreshments. And, the best cake ever!

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The speech, introducing human.

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‘Exquisite Corpses’: The game that brought out the child in everyone.

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Busy at the game!

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There was something for everyone.

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We had some amazing performers amongst us!

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We had postcards and paper robots as give aways.

We had a lot of fun launching human. We hope to see you again.

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