Tuesday 23 December 2008

Braindead design

So they seem to be pretty much finished with the renovation at St Albans station now and I am finding it hard to think of ways they could have done it worse.

The new departure boards are about half the size, don't seem to display all the trains and no longer show the current time. They are small enough that I find it hard to read them from the far side of the ticket barriers and I have pretty good long distance vision. They are also located such that you can't see them from the ticket queue or from the new barriers so you had better know where your train leaves from before you get your ticket.

The lifts look ok so I guess they didn't get it all wrong.

While I'm on the subject of annoyances at the station... Why are there never any free cashpoints near rail stations? Do the bastards running the £1.85 per withdrawal rip-off machines have some sort of exclusion zone arrangement?

I also had a bad experience with a piece of shit windows based ticket machine this morning. Selected the ticket (have to give kudos - I like the interface on the A-Z station finder. I rarely have to type more than 3 letters). Paid witha £20, took it first time. Gave me my ticket and £1.30 change... Then sat there at a please wait screen for around 2 minutes before giving me the last £1. I've lost count of the times I've seen embedded windows systems crash or randomly pause in the middle of a transaction; yet still they build more because M$ have the corporate mindshare.