Because I forget stuff. Part of

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Originally posted May 2 2006 at 20:05 under Web and General. 2 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled. Last modified: 04 May 2006 at 17:43

Off The Rails

Annoyed (again)

I seem to be turning into something of a website complaints blog (after the rant about Lloyds-TSB and a quick mention of PowerGen’s). This time it is The Trainline which comes into the firing line.

Screenshot of the offending login screen, showing the login link lost within the noise

For those that don’t know this is the site which allows you to purchase tickets for the British rail network online (I could go on about the insane rail pricing system but that would take at least a post of its own). All in all it’s not that bad a user experience (though it always irks me that it takes an intermediate page to get to the actual prices I understand that this is so you can indicate railcards, number of passengers etc). What gets me is the fact that it’s necessary to login to get to that prices page—surely I shouldn’t need to be logging in until I decide to buy something; most of the time I’m just checking prices. Actually what really annoys me though is the login page itself. It’s full of big bold writing, for things like forgotten passwords and terms and conditions and the form fields. Hidden in amongst all the noise is the little thing that 99% of the time you actually want to click on (the form fields get filled in by my browser, so I really am mouse driven at this point). Why oh why is the actual login link the smallest, least noticeable thing on that page? It takes me a moment to find it every bloody time (hmm, Greasemonkey scripty goodness may be in order…)

Edit: Added the screen capture I forgot to put in when writing the post!

Greasemonkey! A greasemonkey script to automagically zoom past the offending login page. See the script for instructions.

Comments (2):


In deed, I always click on the forgot password link to log me :(

but when I only have to check timetables and prices, I use national railways, another crappy site but that’s better for that simple task.

Made by Mortimer on May 10, 2006 at 16:03


I’d forgotten about National Rail Enquiries. They at least have things the right way round in that you can get as far as the prices without having to login. When you do want to buy a ticket though you have to select a “vendor”. Given that half the advance tickets relate to a specific train, you’d think it would make sense to forward to that train’s company. Or the trainline. Or somewhere central. In fact this is partly symptomatic of what is wrong with the system. As far as I can tell, judging from the similarity of the process on the Trainline, rail enquiries, individual rail franchise’s site, etc they’re all using the same back end system. So why not just expose that to the consume on one site and have everyone redirect there? Or is that too simple, like charging the same as two singles for a return. Bah, the entire thing is broken.

Made by Ian Scott on May 10, 2006 at 16:56

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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