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Old 7th March 2014, 14:36   #16
bb21
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... and what is the point of the circle/rhombus?

Surely it would make more sense to just spell it out at the top where these shapes are: 16-25 Railcard, Senior Railcard, Under-16, etc.

And with all administrative information congregated along the bottom in the tiniest font, they better make sure that all print-heads are in proper working order.

And with no mention of ticket numbers, how is someone with additional reservation coupons going to know which ticket it belongs to?

I can go on and on.
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Old 7th March 2014, 14:48   #17
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The circle and rhombus are to make gripping easier, as there is a set of simple indicators at the top instructing the guard/RPI to take a closer look at the details. I wonder if there's another sign for "start date in the future"
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Old 7th March 2014, 14:52   #18
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Originally Posted by bb21 View Post
... and what is the point of the circle/rhombus?

Surely it would make more sense to just spell it out at the top where these shapes are: 16-25 Railcard, Senior Railcard, Under-16, etc.
I'm guessing it's just a fast way to indicate (to a ticket examiner) that a discount applies - the theory being that eyes/brain can process a black circle faster than the word 'Child'. And similarly, a black diamond would prompt them to look for/ask for the passenger's railcard.

It may one of those things that seems counter-intuitive, bit actually works better in the real world?
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Old 7th March 2014, 14:53   #19
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I am not convinced that a shape is faster to process than one short word displayed prominently.
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Old 7th March 2014, 15:31   #20
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I am not convinced that a shape is faster to process than one short word displayed prominently.
Comparing how prominently child/railcard discounts are currently (bigger font, child in reverse print) and how they are not on those new designs, I'd wager the blob of black is to help guards see, at a glance, that there is a discount applied, more than actually identify it, the shape might help over time of course, as they get to know that circle is 'under 16' and rhombus is Railcard.

I personally think half of the 'office use' stuff will be illegible on most tickets.
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Old 7th March 2014, 15:52   #21
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I personally think half of the 'office use' stuff will be illegible on most tickets.
We already have a good bit of information in that space on some tickets, such as reference number, customer name, selling office, NRS reference, date and time of issue. In my experience they are usually legible.
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Old 7th March 2014, 15:56   #22
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We already have a good bit of information in that space on some tickets, such as reference number, customer name, selling office, NRS reference, date and time of issue. In my experience they are usually legible.
Yes, but the new design appears to have the font in that section at least 30% smaller than I've seen it on any current design tickets.
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Old 7th March 2014, 16:06   #23
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Some TVMs (S&B ones I believe) print tickets which are harder enough to read as it is. Surely they can't print font that small legibly?
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Old 7th March 2014, 16:13   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairyhandedfool View Post
Comparing how prominently child/railcard discounts are currently (bigger font, child in reverse print) and how they are not on those new designs, I'd wager the blob of black is to help guards see, at a glance, that there is a discount applied, more than actually identify it, the shape might help over time of course, as they get to know that circle is 'under 16' and rhombus is Railcard.

I personally think half of the 'office use' stuff will be illegible on most tickets.
That's exactly my point. The prominent wording for discount status could simply be moved to the place where the shapes are (with minor alterations from the current format). Codified means can help with complex text, but it is not going to be faster to process than a short word (which for many people are processed as a shape anyway).

Why are all the details hidden in a mass of text? It just makes it more difficult for everyone. At the moment guards can inspect Railcards and discounted tickets with a short glance if presented at the same time. Why complicate that? A glance at a rhombus and a Senior Railcard presented at the same time is hardly going to tell anyone whether the Railcard is the correct one. It will also make it more difficult for passengers to spot a ticket issued with the wrong type of discount.
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Old 7th March 2014, 16:18   #25
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Am I the only one who likes this new design?

Though I echo the concerns over small font, I like the fact the reservations are now on the main ticket for advances (though what happens when you have say 5 reservations I don't know). I also like the fact that off peak tickets now have a way to get the restrictions, which is much clearer than 'see restrctns'. This has long been a gripe of mine, although some Fastticket machines print the restriction code it's not clear enough to most passengers.

I also like the presence of more characters in the route. Presumably the 'any permitted' states 'any permitted route' rather than just 'any permitted', which has long been a problem as some passengers seem to get confused and think that any old route is permitted. Why just last month someone came into Thirsk ticket office rather hacked off that they couldn't double back via York on an Edinburgh to Northallerton SVR and their point was it says any route is permitted and they wondered why they had been charged extra on the train!
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Old 7th March 2014, 16:26   #26
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Though I echo the concerns over small font, I like the fact the reservations are now on the main ticket for advances (though what happens when you have say 5 reservations I don't know). I also like the fact that off peak tickets now have a way to get the restrictions, which is much clearer than 'see restrctns'.
They will be issued on separate coupons. The ticket itself can only contain reservation details for two trains.

I may be of a minority here but I immensely dislike this new design. I feel that the insistence on having reservation details on the ticket itself causes many unintended problems. We are constrained by the physical size of the ticketing stock, so there should be a realistic expectation as to how much information could be crammed onto one coupon.

The other thing I absolutely hate is inconsistency, which is demonstrated in this case by having separate designs for different fares. Why? Just why?

Only time will tell how good this new design is but at the moment, my opinion is that it is a massive step backwards. The current design is not perfect, but there is no need for wholesale changes. A few minor tweaks can improve things massively.
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Old 7th March 2014, 16:36   #27
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I may be of a minority here but I immensely dislike this new design. I feel that the insistence on having reservation details on the ticket itself causes many unintended problems. We are constrained by the physical size of the ticketing stock, so there should be a realistic expectation as to how much information could be crammed onto one coupon.
Most non-enthusiasts seem to find the separate reservation coupons annoying and confusing though (or claim to be confused when they're on the wrong train), especially if they booked APs for a return trip for multiple passengers in one booking. This will help remove that confusion, so I am in favour. It's a shame you can only fit 2 legs on the ticket though .

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The other thing I absolutely hate is inconsistency, which is demonstrated in this case by having separate designs for different fares. Why? Just why?
I agree - it is confusing
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Old 7th March 2014, 16:44   #28
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Different designs might tend to obviate repetition blindness in staff.
And I must say - having only recently criticised the cryptic codes (Y-P, SNR etc) as being meaningless to Joe Public, the very unambiguous "With a X----X Railcard" is very wecome as is the other "plain English" content.
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Old 7th March 2014, 16:50   #29
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Quote:
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I feel that the insistence on having reservation details on the ticket itself causes many unintended problems. We are constrained by the physical size of the ticketing stock, so there should be a realistic expectation as to how much information could be crammed onto one coupon.
I believe that Irish Rail have done this for a while, but I haven't seen an example myself. Does anyone know what they look like in practice (as opposed to mock-ups).

At least having the reservation(s) on the ticket will reduce the chance of coupons getting left in the TVM or coupons getting lost (whether accidentally or "accidentally").
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Old 7th March 2014, 17:15   #30
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Most non-enthusiasts seem to find the separate reservation coupons annoying and confusing though (or claim to be confused when they're on the wrong train), especially if they booked APs for a return trip for multiple passengers in one booking. This will help remove that confusion, so I am in favour. It's a shame you can only fit 2 legs on the ticket though .
If there were a uniform approach to ticket design, then it will be far less confusing - so again it comes back to the issue of consistency. The real problem we have at the moment is that a passenger who is unfamiliar with the system never knows where he stands, eg. people who end up with double-digit coupons for one journey, and there really is no need for it. All reservations for a journey should be able to fit on one coupon (possibly separate ones to attach to cycles when required but that is only in a small minority of cases), so the solution is quite simple really. The new system is not resolving the issue of passengers not really knowing where they stand. They might have one coupon with an Advance ticket, but may have more than one. With Advance fares reservations are issued on the ticket itself, with walk-on fares they are not.

If all walk-on fares with reservations come in two coupons per person, and all Advance fares with reservations come in two coupons (and only two coupons in the overwhelming majority of cases) per person, you massively reduce the problems we are facing at the moment, once the general public becomes familiar with it. The general public can adapt, but only if it is a simple system to understand. The current system is not simple, but neither is this one being proposed.

You will never be able to resolve the problem of people not reading their tickets. You will never be able to resolve the problem of people not waiting till all tickets are printed before collecting them. And you will never be able to eliminate problems associated with whether different people in the same booking should have their reservations issued together.

In an ideal world, we will have the ticket details printed on the front, and reservation details printed at the back, or even just bigger ticket stock, so everything fits on one coupon. But we don't live in an ideal world. I am not saying that including reservation details on the ticket itself is a bad thing, but in the grand scheme of things at the moment, I feel that the over-emphasis on trying to get everything on one coupon comes to the detriment of a lot of other things, especially with this proposed design.
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