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DCU Coursework Team Assignment




Problem Statement


UX Case Study
Ticket Booking Service

"The ticket booking journey at time with Bus Eireann can be somewhat confusing. The team focused on the user experience when making a booking. Was it easy to navigate this process for the various different users."

Further Recommendations

Whilst the focus was on a specific tool and it's functionality, it was observed that further study of the website as a whole should take place before the recommendations on site are implemented to maintain consistency across the full product.


The sites booking system was raising a few issues for the customers in terms of booking a route. Information and how it is displayed seems to be part of the problem and ambiguity around journey selection.



Think Aloud

Post Think Aloud Questionnaire

Heuristic Evaluation



The research was carried out amidst the Covid-19 lockdown and so a combination of research methods were chosen with this in mind. This report will examine the Bus Eireann website - specifically its ticket booking functionality (and other sections relevant to the end goal of booking a ticket). First of all, the team conducted a heuristic evaluation (Nielsen, 1993) and examined the data. Secondly, the team decided to engage with four users who do not regularly visit the site in a think-aloud analysis with a short follow-up survey, once again drawing insights from the data produced. Potential improvements to this part of the site’s functionality were made based on the findings of the research conducted.



Online Shopping

Task 1.


Book a Ticket.


Return journey: Drogheda to Gorey

Dates: Friday 10th until Monday 13th April

Times: Going out before

10am - returning after 2pm

Task 1. 

The booking process task was completed with a 100% success rate. However, doubts were expressed on average 7.25 times by participants during the task. Ease of use was assessed in our post-study survey, 0 being easy to use and 100 being difficult to use. It scored 61.

Task 2. 

Every participant was unsuccessful in booking a wheelchair ticket online. On average it took participants 4.14 minutes to discover the accessibility information, i.e. that wheelchair booking must be made 48 hours in advance on some Expressway and regional routes. The post-test survey indicated that 75% of participants viewed Bus Eireann negatively as a result of this, with 25% remaining neutral. The Data Analysis was modelled on suggestions from the book ‘Handbook of Usability Testing’,(Rubin, 1994, pp.259-283). 

Comment - Think aloud participant

"Make the information we need available on the

front page, especially to do with transfers and users

with special needs"

sis was modelled on suggestions from the book ‘Handbook of Usability Testing’,(Rubin, 1994, pp.259-283).




Usability issues that can be actioned immediately: 

#1: Journey information is not clearly displayed. 

#3: The Backspace button empties the cart.

#4: Unnecessary error message.

#5: Basic journey ‘Options’ not available to users.

#6: Define clearly‘Expressway’, ‘Bus Éireann’ and ‘City and Town’ services.

#7: BÉClub Membership concept introduced too late in the booking process.

#8: Disjointed flow of the booking process.#9: Error occurs when the system defaults to ‘Direct-only routes’.

#10: No wheelchair accessibility information displayed on the booking panel.

Usability issue that can be addressed over the long term:

#2: Intuitive map to address local-area knowledge gaps for tourists

and general users.



In conclusion the team analysed the ticket booking functionality of the Bus Eireann website, making recommendations for potential improvements. To do this, usability testing in the form of think-aloud and heuristic evaluation was conducted. The research prompted an examination of usability issues that can be actioned immediately and recommended several improvements that should be made, based on these ‘High-Concern’ items as outlined above. There is great potential to improve the overall user experience of the Bus Éireann ticket booking system by implementing these research-based recommendations. The conclusions drawn from this analysis can be used to lay the foundation of a website upgrade, or improvements to the booking process.

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