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18 June 2019

New vr.fi site will provide inspiration for train travel

Qvik’s designers took part in the concepting and design of the total overhaul of the VR.fi online service and its contents.

VR is renewing its services drastically to better meet the needs of users and bring them into line with today’s technology standards and accessibility requirements. Experts from a number of partners supported VR’s in-house specialists in the process, with Qvik’s designers contributing to the vr.fi site soon to enter its pilot phase and the update of the ticket vending machines currently being installed at stations.

Easier and more convenient purchases

In addition to the ticket buying process, all information content for train travelers is being updated in the vr.fi service.
Above all, the new site aims to make buying tickets quick and easy.

Unlike in the previous version, customers can buy tickets for both local and long-distance trains conveniently through the same trip search function. This enables the comparison of different trip options according to the customer’s individual needs and criteria. For example, customers buying tickets from Helsinki to Tampere can compare the travel times, prices and service levels of long-distance trains and local trains and choose the combination best suited to their specific needs.

Choosing your seat is super easy for individual passengers and groups alike. The most popular add-on services can be bought with the press of a button, and the completely overhauled car map will feature a change-your-seat option, the dimensions of the cars and descriptions of the services available in them.
Bought tickets and the receipts for them will be sent to the customer by e-mail, and registered users can access their tickets through a mobile app and the tickets folder on the new vr.fi website.

Information always available

Ease of buying also means that the customer needs to know next to nothing about train travel in advance, as all information needed to buy your ticket will be provided in context during the purchase process.

Things like discount categories, train types and additional services will be described in connection with the choices made during the transaction. More information is always available at the press of a button for customers who want information on matters such as certificates required for discounts, transporting pets or the features of Pendolino trains.

For tourists and those less familiar with VR’s services, there is plenty of easy-to-read and visual information on ticket types, train services and the special features of trains, along with the fantastic destinations reachable by train in Finland.

Many experienced travelers who have tested the new content have given praise for its clear presentation and been surprised by the variety of services offered by VR to train travelers. And that’s precisely what the overhaul is all about – inspiration and the availability of information.

Accessible and intelligible content

The primary goal in designing the content was to make information easy to find and the site clear and convenient to use. The information on the current vr.fi site has accumulated over the years into a hard-to-navigate anthill, with scraps of information spread out on numerous sites discussing the same subject. In the new service, topics have been grouped in a user-friendly manner and the content is presented in a fresh, visual fashion that makes train travel attractive. Indeed, ease of searching for information and intelligible presentation of content were the cornerstones of the new service’s design.

User groups with special needs during travel or with regard to the use of computers or mobile devices were taken into account in designing the content: support for screen readers has been ensured, the design is compliant with accessibility standards in terms of both font size and color contrast, and the content has been written in clear and plain language. A dedicated, clear section for physical accessibility services will also be built into the vr.fi online service to make the use of services for the disabled smoother. As a matter of course, all content will be updated in the future in light of user feedback.

The pilot phase of the new vr.fi site will launch in the summer of 2019. In June, the new ticket vending machines will enter use and the first version of the new VR mobile app will land in the App Store and Android Play Store.

Related to this story : VR’s ticket vending machine concept marries business needs with user expectations

Written by

Liisa Stenberg

Always planning her next trip to Japan.

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