The customer champion of train travel

Leading the way for human centered design in train travel across their mobile apps.

  • Product design
  • Design system
  • UX Design
  • UI Design
  • Brand development
  • Service design
  • User testing
  • 4.9
  • No.3 Travel, iOS App Store

Trainline are one of the biggest train ticket operators in the UK and needed a mobile offering that was built from the user up.

I joined the Trainline mobile team when they already had apps in both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, but lacked customer satisfaction with an average rating of 2 stars.

Bringing a design thinking background, a drive to shape a design culture from human centered and experience of being hands-on with product design, the length of work was fast, intense and very exciting.

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Putting peoples needs at the heart

A huge part of what demonstrates the success of our outcome was the ambition to design to real world user problems. Regular user testing was conducted every other week by myself to validate existing problems, test new ideas and also serve as a great way for us to keep our finger on the pulse of public perception.

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Listening to peoples real world train experiences

Regular 1-on-1 user discussions where conducted througout the whole duration of my time there. This was a vital part to test new ideas, big or small, double check on current builds and just as crucially, open up the particpation to teams outside of design to more than just design.

Building on experiences to be a customer champion

Also valid on...

A problem that we've heard time and time again, a customer buys a train ticket not realising its valid on many other trains that day. A common problem that shaped a simple solution and got a great response in testing.

The problem wasn't something we were actively listening for, but it shaped a solution that could be close to our design methodology of the time and to be the customer champion.

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Buying a ticket shouldn't be this complicated

The nature of train tickets is complex, as I'm sure you have with your own horror stories. Life is complicated enough, so the nature of what we were to produce had to remove this complexity or better still help users understand these intricies.

Accessibility all the way to the platform

One of the key uses that we heard regually from our user discissions was just using the app for train times and plaform anouncments.

Highlighting station facilities for disabled travelers

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A design to stand the test of time

Peoples time is valuable, especially in the context of a couple of seconds could mean making their train or not. The product was to be as simple as possible. Understanding reading rhythems and visual density and many product design tips like progressive disclousure

We would strive to test in as real scenerios as possible, this meant anything from the existing app to see what parts caused any friction to flat designed Marvel prototypes for new concepts to working code prototypes.

Design system foundations

Working at speed and wanting to maintain a consistent high level of design meant we needed a design system to grow with us. I worked closley with designers to set these high standards and layout a common shared component library that means designs can bring consistency, high level of quality and have a product that feels tailored from end-to-end.


The Trainline project was hugely transformational, both in terms of producing customer loved apps, evident with regular 5 star reviews, but also outperforming our ongoing business metrics. Having a lot of design autonomy in this project I'm very proud of a design solution that is standing the test of time.

Design credit

Honors & mentions