Going Underground - Things The Tube Can Teach You About Web Design

Things The Tube Can Teach You About Web Design

When it comes to your website take a leaf out of the London Underground's book of branding and design communication.

Your website design should send clear signals about what your brand stands for and in what direction you want people to take. Usability is a big issue for Transport for London as much as it is for your web design.

If you're searching for some clarity on the subject of web design/usability then I hope this post gives you some answers. Let people of the train first and then take a seat, mind that can of pop, put that free paper to one side and enjoy the ride.

Things The Tube Can Teach You About Web Design

tube escalators

Things Not To Take From The Tube

Please let the passengers off the train'.... 'Please let the passengers off the train first'....... 'PLEASE let the passengers off the train first'....... 'let the passengers off the train FIRST!'...... 'Go on then, stuff yourselves in like sardines, see if I care, I'm going home.
Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from E & B syndrome: not knowing his elbow from his backside. I'll let you know any further information as soon as I'm given any.
tube train

End of the line

When the tube works it's great, it's fast and gets you around the city at a remarkable rate but due to previous lack of funding it's prone to break down and annoyance. Don't let your website fall into the same black hole.

All change please.


Arnold - Mr.Gadget's picture

Look around and learn

Great post Richard. It's amazing what we can learn from the world around us when we pay attention.

Richard Dewick's picture

Keep your eyes peeled for design tips

Thanks Arnold, there's always opportunity to gain inspiration from the world around us such as the iconic London Underground tube map or simply water flowing in a stream, finding the easiest way to get to its' final destination.

Sometimes we're too busy to notice, take a step back and it will all become clear.

Justin Leaf-Wight's picture

Tips - Give me more.

Awesome post....

Great tips.....

Gimme more!!!

Irish jewelry's picture

Great post. I think many

Great post. I think many folks miss the blatantly obvious. A good book on the topic is "Don;t make me think" by Steve Krug.

Mel Painter's picture

Brilliant post

Really simple ideas and a great read.

You've done it again makakman!

KatC's picture

like the analogy

I think that is a great analogy I also think that people should bear in mind that if something doesn't turn out how you liked it or if it just doesn't work and doesn't get you to your outcome - change it adapt - having a plan is a must but being ok with adapting it is also important.

Richard Dewick's picture

Great comments

Thanks to all those who commented. Steve Krug's 'Don't Make Me Think' is indeed a great book and one all should read if you own a website or are a designer.

Be adaptable is a must in design I'd have to agree @KatC, circumstances change and also client's views change so having procedures in place to cope with this is important. Nice work Kat :)

Anonymous's picture

great post. this is slightly

great post. this is slightly off-topic,but i do love how the underground manages to create that conhesive brand despite the fact that every underground station has its own unique look. while it's hard to deny that the newer stations on the jubilee are far more comfortable, i think i prefer some the character of the older stations in central. What platform do you all think displays the best art? i've always liked the historical mural at charing cross.