Let’s be brutally honest, IRCTC website looked straight out of the 90’s and was of no help in serving up brilliantly as a service for a pretty long time. 95% of the people prefer booking a ticket at the station rather than online.
If you run a check across most of the government websites, you’ll find the story to be same everywhere. It is ironic as the government loves to adopt digital services across India, but hasn’t done anything to improve the experience involved in them.
The ground rule for a website that orients itself with ticket booking or travel should be simplicity and efficiency. People want to travel from A to B, visit places. So, aid them in doing that, provide an experience that makes the process hassle-free, this is the whole point of hosting such a service.
It would have been blissfull if IRCTC could at least deliver a good experience despite the antique design. People get used to notoriously ill designed websites like Reddit due to its experience factor. The whole interface does what it is meant to do in spite of the looks. Sadly, IRCTC fails to deliver in both departments. Websites like IXIGO, ClearTrip is now the go-to centre for booking tickets due to this sole reason.
“So, will this scenario change? Can IRCTC gain a foothold?” were the questions in my mind when I heard IRCTC had had a website redesign. Well, it looks like it is going in the right direction, but not there yet.
Alright, spotlight on the new design, please. Thank you!
The interface has become a whole lot cleaner and faster compared to the previous design. Thanks, IRCTC for adopting Material Design Guideline. But, Material Design was available since 2014, and the second version of Material Design has come along recently. Sad that they took this long to implement a design standard such as this.
Furthermore, the website has managed to bring the prime focus on ticket booking, rather than advertisements.
Information Architecture requires more polishing, as the naming conventions have some rough edges. The Navigational links include contents as sub-menu. However, the same is not evident in the prime view.
Booking a Ticket
The linear process involved in booking procedure (selection of destination — date — payment) and the clarity in information exposure present during these steps is starting to mimic global design standards, but it sort of looks like a wild-goose chase since it hasn’t quite reached there yet.
Nevertheless, there is still a tendency to show all information at once (information overloading) at every point of the user journey.
A ton of information overwhelms people and can often confuse them when they try to make choices. Therefore it is paramount to Reduce, Organize and Prioritize the content to be displayed at every stage of the website.