A common problem that seemed to arise whilst interviewing people is that the information given on the high-tech information systems – such as mobile apps – are extremely unreliable.
One interviewee stated that the live bus times displayed on many mobile apps deviated from the actual ‘real-world’ departure times specified on printed bus timetables. This as a consequence caused him on many occasions to either miss the bus or to be waiting around for a long while.
This meant his route to UWE was very stressful – sometimes he was running to catch a bus that wasn’t meant to leave for another 5 minutes, other times he was waiting around for a bus that was “due” for 15 minutes.
Because of this, he tended to ride his bike to university. And although he has an alternative mode of transport, he still finds it confusing and frustrating as to why the live bus times aren’t actually “live”.
Many other people have also expressed their disappointment with the apps such as Bus Checker and Moovit, and they tended to refer back to high-tech systems as well as low-tech information systems, such as the printed bus timetables online or at the bus stop. However this completely defeats the objectives of the apps which is to make a person’s life more simple. The low-tech systems are also unreliable at peak times of the day, due to congestion, however people have found that at the less busier times they tend to trust the low-tech systems more than the high-tech ones.
We found it interesting how even in this day and age, people still tend to trust low-tech printed information systems more than the high-tech systems in place which are supposedly more reliable.