my wife's struggles to buy a train ticket online

Earlier this week my wife told me she was off shopping in Bath with friends this Saturday, and so they could all have the odd prosecco (or three), was going to take the train.

Good decision, I said. Bath can be a nightmare to get to by car at the weekend and trains from Gloucester are frequent throughout the day.

I would describe my wife as a 'take it or leave it' rail traveller. She does most of her local getting out by car but is happy to consider the train for journeys further afield if the logistics and finances stack up. So as far as thinking about the train as a mode of transport, she's pretty aware of the benefits on offer.

She'd done the hard bit (or so a marketing team might think) of choosing the train over her car, now would come the easy bit (or so a marketing team might think) of turning that choice into a purchase. In other words, actually buying a ticket.

It turned out nothing could be further from the truth.

She didn't know what to search for online.
She didn't know what website to buy from.
She didn't know how to find her return journey.
She didn't know Saturday was off-peak so she could travel on any service and not be penalised.
She didn't know "what to press next".
She struggled big time to carry out what the brand (Trainline in case you're wondering) believed was a simple task.

So whose fault was it she genuinely didn't have a clue what was going on?

No matter how much lab condition research is done to ensure things work properly, the proof of any pudding is in the eating. If people don't find it easy to buy the one product you're selling, something isn't right. And it's not up to the customer to rectify.

As Phil Tonks wrote in reply to my original tweet 'I don't know who designs these things. It's like Arriva's bus website - just not simple at all. They all seem to be designed by 15-year-old tech geeks - who think we're all 15-year-old tech geeks..'.

I think my wife might agree with you, Phil.