SEPTA Key — the fare card system of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority — is a story that goes as far back as 2007, but it’s still a work in progress.
Early adopters began tapping the RFID-equipped smart cards in 2016, but the user experience of reloading the cards has always been on the clunkier side, often leading users to get unnecessary extra cards.
On Friday, commuters’ prayers might have been answered with a heavy-handed redesign of the site. The beta version of the SEPTA Key website now includes a responsive design, an easier navigation and a revamped “Help & Information” section.
It seems that riders, especially those in the tech sphere, approve:
— Kara Lindstrom (@karaml) March 16, 2019
https://t.co/eZrKk46pqO is a massive improvement
— Colin Weir (@radiocolin) March 15, 2019
WOW THE NEW SEPTA KEY SITE IS ???https://t.co/fL5cXsEVt4
— Bridget Reed (@BridgetCReed) March 15, 2019
Have yet to do more digging in terms of UX and accessibility but the new @SEPTAKey site is looking much better than the old one at first glance. LOOK AT THOSE FOCUS STATES. https://t.co/VZYNiwDj28 /ht @pixelyunicorn
— Mikey (@mikeyil) March 15, 2019
“It’s amazing, especially if you manage several cards (we pay for them for my team),” said Indy Hall founder Alex Hillman. “Only thing missing is the ability to move wallet funds between cards.”
If, like Hillman, you have any additional requests for the website, SEPTA made its customer service form available for feedback on the site.
In 2017, a handful of technologists got together to produce a 27-page report with suggestions to SEPTA on how to make the process more user-friendly. The report was put together by designers and urbanists from Code for Philly, Think Company and Philly-based nonpartisan PAC 5th Square.
5th Square tweeted on Friday that the new site was “a major improvement on the old SEPTA Key website and much easier to navigate for customers.”
— SEPTAKey (@SEPTAKey) March 15, 2019
“SEPTA is using the Beta launch to give customers an opportunity to try the site out, get comfortable with it, and provide feedback before the Authority replaces the current site, www.septakey.org,” SEPTA said in a press release.
Follow along as this Philly urbanist rides SEPTA … All. Day. Long.
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