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Grand River Transit
(11-01-2018, 09:45 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Yeah, notification would be good.  These are all UX things which I have zero confidence in them getting right.

Yeah, the entire site feels like it was built by a developer who was given a halfway decent component library and a 30-page specification document and told to come back in 5 weeks. Which is my general impression of how eSolutions does work.
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(11-02-2018, 09:29 AM)robdrimmie Wrote:
(11-01-2018, 09:45 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Yeah, notification would be good.  These are all UX things which I have zero confidence in them getting right.

Yeah, the entire site feels like it was built by a developer who was given a halfway decent component library and a 30-page specification document and told to come back in 5 weeks. Which is my general impression of how eSolutions does work.

I didn't see the coding behind the site, so I don't want to express an opinion on that, but the biggest challenge I saw, and I see this on so many other sides, is the usability/user experience.

The art is pretty, etc., but when it comes to actually use it, it's almost completely broken. This is such a common problem too, from everything from websites to washing machines. Don Norman's book should be required reading for anyone building anything.
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(11-02-2018, 09:29 AM)robdrimmie Wrote:
(11-01-2018, 09:45 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Yeah, notification would be good.  These are all UX things which I have zero confidence in them getting right.

Yeah, the entire site feels like it was built by a developer who was given a halfway decent component library and a 30-page specification document and told to come back in 5 weeks. Which is my general impression of how eSolutions does work.

Alas, most of our CS/CE programs at the University of Waterloo don't require courses in user interfaces, and indeed, no such courses are available to students in Computer Engineering in particular. People don't necessarily know what they don't know. Really, there should be a designer working with the team.

Autoload: I've used that functionality on PRESTO forever, but I've also never had a monthly pass.
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(11-02-2018, 09:52 AM)plam Wrote: Really, there should be a designer working with the team.

Yes, exactly. I don't say the above to be cruel to the individual developer(s) or designers involved, but to the way I perceive eSolution's business to work based on their output of city-owned applications over the years. They provide functionality that minimally meets specifications, and either the city doesn't care about UX or isn't knowledgeable enough to judge what good UX is.

I've been a developer professionally since 1998 and if left to my own devices will 100% output a garbage pile of unusable interfaces. Working without a product designer (or without adequate attention from one shared on several projects) is deeply unpleasant and results in poor but cheap products.
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Every developer should take a Design Thinking course. They don't necessarily need the skills of design, but should at least understand the principles behind a good design to help inform the end product.
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(11-02-2018, 10:51 AM)timio Wrote: Every developer should take a Design Thinking course.  They don't necessarily need the skills of design, but should at least understand the principles behind a good design to help inform the end product.

This is absolutely the case. I can't do good design, but I know bad design when I see it, and I also appreciate the importance of good design. And it applies to more than just software, our bike lanes are a supreme example.
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I very strongly agree with the importance of cross-discipline knowledge but will submit to my inner pedant and point out that Design Thinking as a concept is more about product ideation and market validation than specifically about product design principles such as user experience, typography, colour theory etc.
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That's definitely true. But design thinking at least gives lessons in understanding how to approach the problem from the perspective of a customer/user, and how to focus on the user experience, rather than the feature.

Also, I didn't read that sentence to clearly and only saw "Design" Tongue.
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Yep, I think there's a ton of value in developers (and designers) understanding Design Thinking as well.

To refine my above stated poor opinion of eSolutions' work for the governments in Waterloo Region: Time for really strong product development likely isn't provided. That might be a constraint created by the available budget, or it might be the way eSolutions does work generally, I don't have enough insight to say. But across their web and mobile app properties the products are consistently lacking in quality design, user experience and technical stability. They typically solve a fairly naive statement of the problems ("I want to add value to my card" "I want to know when it's a garbage or a yard waste pickup" etc) but if they do deep design thinking, it's rarely if ever visible in the products.

It's the software equivalent of the snow removal contractors clearing out the foot of space between the curb and the sidewalk at bus stops.
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(11-02-2018, 10:51 AM)timio Wrote: Every developer should take a Design Thinking course.  They don't necessarily need the skills of design, but should at least understand the principles behind a good design to help inform the end product.

Disagree. Every developer should advocate to have a competent designer assigned to their project. I am terrible at design, and I don't think that any amount of training is going to make me much better at it. Sadly, I'm often forced to make design decisions anyway.
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We're going to have to start a bike shed thread soon. Big Grin
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(11-02-2018, 12:37 PM)robdrimmie Wrote: We're going to have to start a bike shed thread soon. :D

Well, -I- think it should be called the bikeshed thread.

:D
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Summary of proposed changes for 2019 in Cambridge:
206 iXpress – Coronation - provides a frequent, direct link between West Galt, Preston, Sportsworld Station and Fairway Station. The route would also provide a direct non-transfer ride to ION light rail for some of the densely developed, transit-supportive areas of Cambridge.

Route 52 Coronation - revised to travel between South Cambridge Shopping Centre to Cambridge Centre Station via Dundas Street and Coronation Boulevard. The route would serve Cambridge Memorial Hospital and provide customers a one-seat ride to Cambridge Centre Mall. Renamed 52 Dundas.

Route 55 St. Andrews - revised to connect to 206 iXpress – Coronation while providing service coverage to neighborhoods in West Galt. Renamed 55 Cedar.

Route 57 Blair - combined with Route 111 College Express to provide all-day, direct service between Ainslie Street Terminal to Conestoga College Cambridge Campus and Doon Campus.

Route 61 Fountain - revised to travel on Preston Parkway and replace current service provided by Route 52.

Route 62 Woodside – revised to connect to 206 iXpress – Coronation while providing service coverage to neighborhoods in West Galt. Renamed 62 Grand Ridge.

Route 72 Cherry Blossom - is under review by staff to better serve employees in Cambridge Business Park.

New local route serving Cambridge Business Park would replace current Route 52 service on Cherry Blossom Road. The route would connect Cambridge Business Park to
Cambridge Centre Station. 

   

   
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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That route 52 feels extremely redundant.
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(11-03-2018, 08:03 PM)D40LF Wrote: That route 52 feels extremely redundant.

Where it overlaps with the 506, it does local stops when the iXpress breezes past. It's like the 7 on King when Ion is there too.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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