The worst UX ever!!!
Worst UX prize awarded!!!!
Of late, there has been a lot of buzz about UX and what's not. UX being an acronym for the USER EXPERIENCE that you get when you go online. Obviously, since most things have moved onto the web, you are hoping for a seamless ride each time you surf, some euphoria maybe, like riding the waves...
Interesting, there may be several claimants for the best UX in the world, as, surely, lots of companies pride themselves on their UX and strive to do better each day. Even so, there is one such site that is so entrenched in the stakes, that there is no reason to doubt its claim to fame- as the worst UX in the world. ( Open challenge to anyone to show a site with worse UX).
And that site is, none other than the IRCTC.co.in site. The indian railway online booking system. What a legendary one! Considering the railways has upwards of 400 k employees and equally large number of travellers, plus a gargantuan budget, and is vigorously promoting "Incredible India" this is all they could come up with !!!!
The first thing, intuitively, when you google Indian railways bookings ( which many tourists might be doing), you get this result.. http://www.indianrail.gov.in/ Apparently, this site has nothing to do with booking, but has amidst, several ads, a plethora of information , juxtaposed with the most irrelevant ads ever... such as houses and you name it!
So, with some luck, if you figure out th
e right site, you move on to irctc.co.in, ( good luck figuring that), you will be greeted by another mishmash of google ads for ketto ( online donations) , car insurance, utensils and what have you. Leaving you to navigate through another complex maze, and type in Kashi in another captcha, ensuring you see the latest Kashi express ( which you have no intention of using!)...
Lets say, you got really lucky , and figured out the station names, the trains, and moved on. ( This works ok if you know the station codes - Bangalore is SBC and alternate train stations such as Yeshwantpur, which are also Bangalore based stations are YPR. Leaving me puzzled as to why they could not have used suffixes such as SBC- Bangalore City and Yeshwantpur Bangalore - YPR. Anyway, thats the subject of another post!)
You got even more lucky now ( luck ^n) and found a seat, booked it, and moved on.
You get yet another challenge to decode these acronyms that come with the prized ticket..
CAN : CANCELLED
CNF : CONFIRM
RAC : RESERVATION AGAINST CANCELLATION
WL : WAITLIST
RLWL : REMOTE LOCATION WAITLIST !!!
PQWL : POOLED QUOTA WAITLIST !!!
RSWL : ROAD-SIDE WAITLIST !!!
REL : RELEASED
NR : NOROOM
NOSB : NO SEAT BERTH
WEBCAN : Railway Counter Ticket: Passenger has been cancelled over internet and refund has not been collected.
WEBCANRF : Railway Counter Ticket: Passenger has been cancelled over internet and refund has been collected.
GNWL : General Waitlist
TQWL : Tatkal Waitlist
FBKG : Ticket Booked Outside ARP in FT Quota. Seat has not been allotted yet !!!
Whats Roadsite waitlist ? Pooled quota waitlist ? ARP in FT quota ??? No seat berth ???
WEBCAN Passenger has been cancelled over internet... what the ????
The next thing is- you want to check your booking at a later date. Come back to the site, log in , and the only option available is to cancel ticket . ( what? i just want to see my booking status, not cancell it , dammit). But hey, guess what , to see your booked history, you must go to the cancel ticket page, and be extra cautious in case you cancel it in error. Not to forget , that you will be greeted by a plethora of ads in your attempt to view the page.
The little lady in the corner (ask Disha) will keep butting in every now and then, with her nuggets, amidst some adverts for idli cookers on amazon. Hey, i came here to buy a railway ticket, or to check my status, not to get idli cookers, or whatnots!
Amidst all this chaos, i got really really lucky and managed to book a ticket. Although i couldn't get a printout the next time round, or get an SMS to the correct number ( they had captured on old number, and no hope of changing that), am still hopeful of reaching the destination, as hope springs eternal !!!
Quirky idea springs up .. Indian railways a.k.a IRCTC, you undoubtedly deserve an award ... The worst UX ever!!!
Aina Rao, The amblingindian - quirky reads on India!