America’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has just recognized the King County Department of Transportation’s Metro Online Web site as one of the “Top Transit Traveler Information Websites” in the nation, one of four to be so selected in 2004.
King County traffic could be regarded as anything but high-throughput. The roadway bandwidth is so congested that many have turned to telecomuting as an option or have considered public transportation. It’s the latter case, where Metro Online’s new Website has an important role to play. Driving the information superhighway for Metro in this case is none other than the strategic branding and design firm of Girvin, Inc whodesigned the site.
Girvin’s Associate Director of New Media, Stephanie Krimmel, was the information architect and project manager for the award-winning Web site and offered us a guided tour: “For the site re-design, Metro wanted to increase the usage of the on-line timetable and trip planning tools that Web statistics showed a majority of visitors using. In addition, Metro wanted to increase their online pass sales. In response to this, we placed these various functions front and center on the home page and created memorable icons which we incorporated on every page of the site, allowing users to access them from anywhere.” As a result, Metro saw a 23% increase in online pass sales the month following the relaunch and an almost 80% increase in overall use.
According to Metro user, Ms. Kumi Okada, “I visit the Web site very often to check bus schedules and route maps, and I always, every time I go there, wondered who designed the site. Since it’s very well designed, not only visually, but also [with] great interface design, I find it well-organized for such complicated information, very easy to use.”
The FTA award-winners were selected after a national review and ranking of more than 1,400 Web sites. The sites were evaluated for their content and usability. The Web site can be accessed at http://transit.metrokc.gov/.