Megabus.com

Ayla Hurley


The colors used for the site's design - blue, yellow, and white - make a good contrast that displays the company's signature colors without being obnoxious. The white space makes sections of the front page block nicely. The whole left side is used for people who want to go straight into planning their trip, allowing them to input their departure station, arrival station, and dates right away. The right side includes informative advertisements about their services, service advisories, and a prominent link to a bus route map. The same colors are consistent throughout the site. Bus rides from one city to another are consistently referred to as "trips", and upon searching for a trip, the results are given in a clean cut manner. Each available trip lists the time and street address from where the rider will depart, where they will arrive, the duration of the trip, the carrier, the price, the schedule, and any alerts related to the trip. All of this information is displayed in an easy to read list format (shown below). The site allows those who know where they are going to, from, and when to jump right into choosing a trip via the right hand side of the home page. Trips chosen are displayed neatly with all available information. If there are any alerts for the trip chosen, it will display them prominently and unobtrusively. The site uses a shopping cart system to indicate the bus tickets purchased, so there is closure in purchasing tickets, and a confirmation email is sent upon the final purchase. It does not allow users to type in cities' names, but choose them from a drop down menu instead. Just as well, it allows users to choose dates from a pop-up calendar rather than type in dates. This prevents any unnecessary input errors. One cannot continue with purchasing tickets until all relevant information - departure station, arrival station, departure date, arrival date - is given by the user, preventing any incomplete data errors or annoying "You must complete the following information!" pop-ups. The user can only choose one Outbound trip and one Return trip, so there's no room for confusion or error in choosing multiple trips at once. Choosing the itinerary can be easily canceled or search criteria changed with bright yellow buttons at the bottom, "Search Again" and "Cancel". The interface supports an internal locus of control in that the users are given a wealth of information regarding their trip, including a detailed list of frequently asked questions and useful links under the Customer Service page, and may pick and choose easily between any of their options. The user's short term memory load is very little, as all the information about one's trip is listed at each step of the purchasing process. I personally find the layout wonderful, after having used Greyhound's site a few weeks ago for a trip to New York City, which at the time, had no service alerts for the Baltimore Travel Plaza, as it does now.

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