• 19 March 2018

    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.


    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?

    codes copy

    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.


    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.


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

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


    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.

    1 watermark_exist

    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


    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.

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