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February 18, 2010 | 6 Comments

Watch: St. Louis Beacon Tech’s Video Tutorial for Google Transit

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Since we’ve gotten a lot of comments from riders having difficulties using Google Transit (our new default trip planning application at www.metrostlouis.org), I asked the St. Louis Beacon if we could post their BeaconTech video tutorial on how to use Google Transit.  They happily obliged.  Please watch (the tutorial starts at about 1:36): Nextstop is working with our IT department to create a tutorial and FAQ for Google Transit trip planning, aided by your feedback.  In the meantime, hopefully this video will help demonstrate some of Google Transit’s features and applications.

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Transit Benefits

6 thoughts on “Watch: St. Louis Beacon Tech’s Video Tutorial for Google Transit”

  1. RTBones says:

    Courtney — have comments been turned off on the post about the “revamped” website? I tried to leave one, but there weren’t any comment boxes.

    1. Courtney says:

      I didn’t turn them off, but let me make sure they didn’t reach a limit of some sorts.

  2. Michael Nabokoff says:

    Thanks for switching to Google Transit! The old TripFinder was clunky and difficult to use. The Google solution is best of breed, is available on mobile, and provides me more flexibility while on the go.

    It’s no secret that some people fight change (especially as they get older and crankier!) But this is a change the majority can approve of. After all, it’s the direction that most Metro organizations are going — we were one of the last to migrate…

    Anyway, thanks.

  3. RTBones says:

    Thank you, Courtney. I just tried again to leave a comment, and was unable to. I tried the “leave feedback” link on the top of the new website, but it just brought me to the entry on the blog that I was having trouble with in the first place. So, I’ll leave one here (its appropriate, since it does deal with Google Transit.)

    Where to start….

    I think the switch to Google Transit (GT) was a good idea, but I also think it was poorly executed. This is a fundamental switch in the way folks look up transit routes and times. In my opinion, one of two things should have been done: either the two systems should have been running side-by-side to give users a chance to get used to GT, or the deployment of GT should have been accompanied by an in-depth tutorial (and NOT added secondarily).

    Contrary to Paul’s post, GT is NOT prominently displayed — it actually blends into the background a bit. You got rid of the link to the old Trip Finder, and didnt make the new GT stand out at all. From a human factors perspective, it is easy to miss. How about putting a box around the GT section and have it a slightly different color so that it stands out to your eye? This is an issue because long-time users of the website expect to have to go to a second link from Metro’s homepage in order to get to Trip Finder, so they wont necessarily look for it up front. It is nice to have GT on the homepage now, but you need to draw the eye to it.

    As to the website itself, I can sum it up in one word: POOR. I understand this is a “phased” deployment, but ONE PAGE? Really? Metro put a new “front end” on the website. In other words, Metro updated the homepage. That is all. Please dont tell me its a “phased deployment” – with the exception of the videos, most amateur web programmers with a halfway decent web design software suite could do this relatively easily. Why was this rolled out in an unfinished state? You still link to the same, dated-looking content. Yes, it appears that there was an awful lot of effort spent to get the nice pretty videos of transit riders saying “yay, transit rocks,” but no actual content for riders. How does this help?

    You ask for feedback on the new look of the site, yet the link takes you to a blog post that won’t allow new comments.

    You got rid of the icon to the Next Stop blog and replaced it with a single line of text and a hyperlink. Why?

    The only reason I know there is a mobile version of Metro’s website is because I read your comment on the blog. After examining the mobile site, it is a pain to use. If I needed schedules and was on the go, I would likely go directly to GT and not Metro’s site.

    You have a link to some recent tweets on Metro’s Twitter feed on the bottom right side of the homepage, yet you dont label it. How about a line above the tweets that says something to the effect of “Latest Metro Tweets”, or “Metro Twitter”. Set it off somehow. An example of what I am talking about is the right-hand side of Fox News’s website. (http://www.foxnews.com) What I am talking about are the callouts like “On Fox News Channel” “Fox News Radio” and “Fox Blogs.” Content for those is clearly labeled and set apart. The way it is currently set up, it looks like your Twitter feed is actually Moving Transit Forward.

    Speaking of Twitter, Facebook and Twitter are new to Metro. The homepage is new. Why not have a banner that says, “Now on Facebook and Twitter!” Yes, the icons are there. But if you want to actually have riders use the new features, how about promoting them a little more on the homepage. You dont hype them at all. Once both Facebook and Twitter feeds for Metro have an established user base, the icon you have now work.

    1. Courtney says:

      Great suggestions, RT. I think it would be helpful to set them apart to help boost it up. I’ll see what I can do. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for finally talking about > Watch: St.
    Louis Beacon Tech

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