Design Product

Helping Go-Ahead promote sustainable travel

How might we help Go-Ahead customers understand the carbon impact of their journeys?

  • Client

    Go-Ahead

  • Services

    Product Development, UX Design, Software Engineering

  • Methods

    Accessibility Testing, Rapid Prototyping

Brief

Design and build an interactive carbon calculator

Go-Ahead is one of the UK’s leading public transport companies, moving and connecting millions of people each year across their bus and rail network.

For Go-Ahead, sustainability means operating in a way that ensures it is viable for the long term, and has set out a strategy to become a net zero business by 2045.

With Go-Ahead customers seeking more information about the carbon footprint of their journeys, we were briefed to design and build a tool that allowed travellers to calculate and measure their own footprint when travelling by train or car.

UX DESIGN

Human-Centered design principles

So travellers could see the data on-screen in a simple way, we designed an animated bar chart that adapted to the different page templates across the Go-Ahead site. 

The challenge was finding a way to display the width of the bars accurately. Originally, the equations we used to calculate the distance resulted in car and train journeys being relative in terms of a percentage against each other.

However, we ultimately used governmental calculations to establish the amount in kilograms and design the bar charts in a way that would vary in width depending on how far off they were from one another – whilst also remaining mathematically proportionate. 

A mobile view of the carbon calculator

Technology

Modern and accessible engineering

To avoid motion sickness in users, accessibility was taken into account at every stage of the product roadmap. 

We built the animated bar chart with decreased motion and animation – and in a way that when anything changed on the page, screen readers would detect the change so that users could understand. 

The upfront accessibility work made things far simpler to engineer in the future and allowed us to educate Go-Ahead’s product teams on using accessibility programs to check potential issues and make improvements. 

Results

Supporting sustainability

Go-Ahead’s Carbon Calculator was a primary feature in their campaign to promote sustainable travel and awareness.

In the first month after going live, we saw a year-on-year increase in views and average time on Go-Ahead’s environmental and sustainability pages. 

58%

Increase in page views

55%

Increase in visit duration

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