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DCU UX Course Project: Evaluation


Bus Éireann (Unsolicited)


My Role:

UX Designer


Evaluation of usability of


March 2020 – April 2020



About the site:
Bus Éireann helps people all across the country make over 80 million journeys every year, as Ireland’s national bus company.


Based on the assumption that we were working on behalf of Bus Eireann who are responding to frequent customer complaints about booking tickets/events on their website. Our task was to conduct a series of evaluations on the current website in order to help with a redesign of the website.

Heuristic Evaluation 
We adapted a detailed heuristic evaluation checklist on an Excel spreadsheet for our participants to answer Yes/No questions about the Bus Eireann website and add comments where relevant. This questionnaire looked at all ten of Jakob Nielsen’s Heuristics for User Interface Design.

User Observation
The UX team used Zoom as a tool for remote user testing, on each occasion the facilitator met the participant over Zoom, fulfilled ethical obligations by outlining the usability testing procedure in some detail. The user was required to carry out the three usability tasks using Think Aloud Protocol while the observer watched unobtrusively. Each team member acted as an observer and a user when carrying out the three usability tasks

Data Analysis
We used affinity mapping via Mural to categorise and prioritise information gleaned from our Think Aloud protocols. Affinity mapping seeks to organise individual ideas and insights into a hierarchy showing common structures and themes. Notes are grouped together when they are similar in some way. The groups are not predefined but rather they emerge from the data. These patterns gave us a more integrated view of the problem space.


Real Time Data
Naming inconsistencies and duplicates were noted here: Sometimes “X8 Cork” appeared in the drop-down list, sometimes just “X8” and sometimes both. Remove duplicates.

Confusing, irrelevant results suggests the filter may not be working correctly. We recommend looking at this filter and adjusting to return just the top result.

Maps Not Working
Google maps does not work on the site and says “for development purposes only”. The prompt, “Do you own this website?” causes concern about the legitimacy of the site. If Google maps cannot be activated, we suggest removing it from the site.

Navigation Issues
The back button should not cancel previous data input and page headings should correspond with user location on the site.

Route Names
Routes listed in numerical order, requiring users to know the numbers of bus routes rather than destination names. Only some route numbers accompanied by destination name, burdening user memory load. We recommend dropdown routes to be arranged alphabetically according to destination and not numerically. Bus route number should go alongside the destination.  Also, many stops were listed not by county but by local business names only. More clarity around destinations needed for infrequent bus users.

Clock for Ticket Booking
Ticket booking is in the 24-hour clock but the drop-down menu for this has AM and PM. We recommend choosing one or the other and having default settings in real time.

The payment process was straightforward and we have no recommendations other than to say that good features can provide valuable UX insights too. The Expressway pdf was another positive but only two participants found it. Although the site afforded this useful brochure, a signifier such as a more prominent button would have made its presence more explicit. As Don Norman noted, when it comes to affordances and signifiers, “We need both” [Norman, 2013: P14].


Group Project by Alan Conlon, Patrice Harrington, Cecilia Maizares, Aideen O’Neill and Eamon Whyte. Infographics by Aideen O’Neill.