National Express Group is a leading public transport provider with an annual turnover of £2.6bn and over 40,000 employees.
In the UK, the National Express Group provides coach; bus, train and airport transfer services. The Coaches Business provides Scheduled coach services carry around 33m a year nationally, of which National Express carries just over 18m. National Express' coach network is the only national transport network in Britain operated by one company under one brand, serving c.1, 000 destinations, competing with rail and car but with a limited number of viable coach competitors. There core network strength is aided by focused additional services direct to airports, major venues and events. They have iconic "value" brand - 40 years, 70% unprompted awareness and a strong customer base. The service is nationwide and has a multi-channel distribution underpinned by 90k visitors to the National Express website every day and 33m unique visitors annually.
The aim of this project is to design and develop a mobile optimised site for National Express to provide a cost effective mobile solution for handsets that have web-browsing capabilities.
This solution is platform agnostic and will provide an effective route to market for any smart phone irrespective of the carrier, connectivity method, operating system or form factor.
The National Express booking process and log in functionality to view a previously booked ticket have been built and deployed to live. This project follows on from that work to produce a mobile-optimised version of the booking process and account area.
Splendid recommended building a narrow width version of the booking process built in standard HTML due to the platform agnostic nature of this approach. The final deliverable is then usable by all Smart Phone users.
National Express also require this approach as they do not wish to release an app (in particular to the Apple App Store) due to revenue charges that will be incurred.
How we did it
Working closely with National Express meant fast iterations of ideas and high visibility of our progress and direction. National Express and user input was considered, consumed and responded to throughout the process.
A complete understanding of the product from concept through to delivery of the mobile site.
We achieved this by:
- Understanding the service that the product was to provide
- Working to a process of Researching, exploring, wire framing and visual design with key templates and modules through to delivery of a built mobile site.
- A Splendid team working closely with National Express.
- Refining the wireframes and concept with National Express project team.
- Verifying design direction through a series of user scenarios and consistent user testing.
The National Express Coach booking process is a five-stepped process. The process includes Find a journey, Select a Journey, Add Extras, Delivery, Payment and Confirmation. The mobile site has been reduced in width from the website due to the mobile screens and slight alterations to suit the interaction, function and experience need to operate on a mobile phone. Clear and intuitive now with a more commercial look and feel provides National Express with a long-term solution as there business going forward as well as still providing value for money for the consumer. A solid foundation into the first step of mobile. The site will be closely monitored to consider whether further functionality will be added to the mobile site. The step into mobile is more than a brand exercise as the mobile site only concentrates at the moment on booking a ticket.
Launching in April 2011, there are already plans set in the future to develop, National Express Coaches whole site, to enhance the consumer's experience.
National Express Coach is a strong booking engine for a national coach business reaching a wide audience in the growing Coach market. It significantly contributes to the financial success of National Express Coach in an economy that is climbing from recession and where the population is careful with how much it spends on travel.
Visit www.nationalexpress.co.uk/coach to find out more.
Project lead Andrew Jamieson
For more information please call - +44 (0)20 7395 4800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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