The T's new Web site: Good, bad and ugly
The MBTA's new Web site highlights the route of its new ultra-micro-mini bus service, able to fit in even the narrowest of alleys.
The MBTA unwrapped its new Web site today. First impression: This is the B line of Web sites - it takes forever to do anything. But that might just be opening-day problems that will get fixed as the T's Web engineers fine-tune the thing. One might hope, anyway.
Very cool: Google maps integration. I'm loving it.
Not cool: Tiny default type all over the site.
Cool: The trip planner is right on the home page now.
Not cool: It's called Rider Tools, with "Trip planner" underneath. Confusing, since it's the only "rider tool."
Meh: MyMBTA. Cool you can basically bookmark frequently used things on the site. Not cool that you have to go to the Web site to see service alerts - guys, you made me give you my e-mail address when I signed up, send me the alerts in e-mail, mmkay?
Kinda dumb: The "skip to content" link at the very top of the page. All it does is skip you down the page a half screen. If the stuff in that half screen is so skippable, it's probably not worth having up in the first place. Unless you're going to start selling banner ads. (Update: As noted in the comments, this is actually a good thing, for visually impaired folks, but I stand by my comment about "content" that doesn't really belong in such a prominent space). Also, what's up with the 15 FRIDAY DECEMBER 2006 dates? We're still in the U.S., right?
Also not cool: Schedules and Maps is right at the very top, where it should be. Then there's a large box on the top right that basically does the same thing, only takes up a lot of space. Guys: Move the trip planner even higher up, move the ad to the right and ditch the link to the Fitchburg Line.
Now, the T assumes you're using a "modern" browser, which does not, apparently, include Opera. Spatch goes through the site and finds a whole lot to hate. Complete with screen captures to illustrate its Opera suckatude.
The MBTA Web site in 1996 - via Wayback Machine: