Friday 9 September 2016

GoTimetable Sheffield : More Searching Questions

Reaction and Satisfaction
By the end of today GoTimetable Sheffield will have been swanning about the ether for nearly a week. Take-up is, as yet, small - but growing rapidly. Sadly, the team has no budget for lavish publicity but is confident that word of mouth (word of laptop?) will get things going; far better to start slowly rather than risk a server meltdown! Festina Lente. 

Reaction is of two types; (1) very encouraging and (2) pointing out small irritants - "positively"! The team welcomes all feedback but the interwebnet does breed misjudged (sometimes even offensive) criticism happily hidden in a cloak of anonymity. Comments forwarded via the contact link on will always be considered and a response given as soon as practicable.

Two unsolicited testimonials are worth printing. One is from "James":-

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for providing a no-nonsense easy to use timetable website. I am impressed by its functionality. Here is a website that actually gives you access to timetables without any fuss. I have to wonder why none of the major operators are following suit for their timetables.

And one from a Transport professional whose anonymity fbb is happy to preserve on this blog.

Just had a quick look at the Seaton and Sheffield sites on my laptop and you're definitely on to something there for an off line "Timetables in my pocket".

But this kind chap has really let the cat out of the bag. He goes on to say:-

I didn't realise your consultancy work paid so well until I saw your brand new Tesla parked outside Victoria Coach Station yesterday.
Actually, fbb wasn't the driver. He had loaned the vehicle to the butler to travel to the Big Smoke-less to make necessitous purchases in the Food Hall at Fortnum and Mason's.
Map Methodology
One on-line Anonymous proffered the view that GT's individual route maps were no better that those available from Travel South Yorkshire; the only difference being that GT's "line" was blue and TSY's was purple. Does he have a point? Here is a chunk of TSY's route 6:-
And the same chunk from GT:-
Links are provided with other frequent services, so a tap or click on 120 will take you straight to that timetable. Likewise choosing any locality name and giving it a prod will bring up all the services at that point.
The team is experimenting with links to Google Maps and have put some time into providing detailed diagrams, route specific, of the often-complex trajectory through the city centre.
A work in progress; but it all costs time and money!

Searching via the area map (home page, "MAP") is also straightforward.
For reasons of space, this "area" map only shows main routes and coarse detail, but click on a "via" box (e.g. via Broomhill) and you get a more detailed diagram.
Once again, everything "clicks".

Scrolling Sophistication
Whilst mobile phone screens have got bigger of late, one practical problem has been how to get everything you want into the small space available, yet retain legibility. Some Apps, for example, sacrifice detail and offer only tiny nibbles of timetables  and a coarse selection of stops.
Once you have selected your timetable on GT, a search via the "three dots" menu will take you to a journey at a specific time.
So no frenetic scrolling to find the bit of the timetable you want!
Little reminders pop up at the bottom of the acreen to tell you what you have chosen!

But what is really clever is that, even if you have "extra stops" switched off, you can still choose to depart from and arrive at them, as in italicised "Prince of Wales Road Littledale" and "Hunters Bar Ecclesall Road" above.

The clever little confuser will pop the chosen "extra stops" into the right place in the "coarse" timetable without making the screen display unnecessarily big. Now that IS clever (and absolutely nothing to do with fbb - he knows nothing about the internal wurglings of confuser software!)

P.S. The Downloadable (Android) version updates automatically : obviously the web version does as well!

Tomorrow, we change the subject! Cries of "Thank Goodness" echo round the country!
Lots of places open to the public that are not usually open. And, best of all ....
... heritage bus tours as well!
Tours using preserved buses will be operating between 1000 and 1600 on Saturday and Sunday from the  departure and information point in George Row. On Saturday morning five former Northampton Corporation transport buses dating from 1945, 1946, 1947, 1965 and 1968 will be running.  Most will continue in operation until 1600 hours on Sunday. Support will be provided by visiting buses including some modern style designs: that is they are only about  thirty years old.

Aaah, blissful and youthful memories.

The web site is (here) where you can download a leaflet.
 Next but different blog : Saturday 10th September 

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