Web App / Dashboard

Search engine for rail links for one of the biggest railway operators in Poland

  • Industry Transportation
  • Years 2016-2020
  • Services Web development
  • Capacity Up to 400 searches per second

Ticket Portal

A search engine for rail links with transfers for one of the biggest railway operators in Poland. It’s a high-performance real-time system that can handle up to 400 concurrent searches per second.

Introduction

About the project

The project started in 2016 with building a search engine for rail links with transfers for one of the biggest railway companies in Poland. After we built the platform consisting of 5 key modules, we were developing it further, implementing new features and helping our Client successfully manage their sales processes.

Our tasks

task icon
Designing a convenient and intuitive search system that would help people buy tickets online

All the modules of the application needed to have flawless UX to make the process of buying tickets as simple as possible for users with different levels of computer skills. The whole process of purchasing the ticket, from searching, through registration, to payments and downloading the ticket needed to be faster and easier than going to the ticket office.

task icon
Building a platform that would be not only intuitive but also fast and efficient

No one likes to wait! And people waiting for the page to load get impatient faster than those standing in a queue in front of the ticket office. Keeping that in mind, and aiming to become an actual alternative to these ticket offices, we needed to make the platform fast and efficient.

task icon
Making the platform accessible both on desktop and mobile devices

The goal was to make the whole process of purchasing the ticket as fast and as simple as possible – the platform needed to be accessible both on desktop and mobile devices, and it couldn’t take more than a few minutes to find the rail link and purchase the ticket.

task icon
Providing users with an account management section – both for end-customers and the Client

Searching for the rail link and buying a ticket is only the beginning of a long journey! To make the rest of it go smoothly, we needed to provide users with an account management section that would allow them to access their tickets, return them if needed, but also make another panel for our Client - to manage sales, add special offers, and monitor the results.

Challenges

01

1. Providing users with different options across the available modules

From the very beginning, we needed to provide end-users with different search options: for single tickets and for period tickets, with different sets of discounts and special offers. Then, we needed to add multiple payment options to make the purchase process as convenient for the users as possible.

2. Designing an app that would be simple and intuitive - regardless of its complexity

From the very beginning, we knew that it should be a complex web application that would consist of 5 key elements: search panel, registration panel, payments panel, user’s account, and admin’s account. All these modules needed to have flawless UX to make the process of buying tickets as simple as possible for users with different levels of computer skills.

3. Making the platform efficient enough to handle multiple concurrent searches

On average, Poles travel by train over 7.7 times a year. It may not be impressive comparing to the European score (19 times a year) but in a country with population of 38 million, it still gives us 292.5 million rail passengers every year and almost a million passengers every day. The capacity of our platform needed to be really big!

Working in the Ticket Portal project was quite an interesting experience! There were many challenges like adjusting the application to be a Progressive Web Application and to publish it in Google Play store or making sure that all the views are responsive and look perfectly on different mobile devices. Sometimes it was a real race against time! Just like when we had to prepare the application for the special train connections search and ticket sale for Pol’and’Rock festival, and test it thoroughly to make sure everything worked as expected. The great thing about this project was the awareness that people actually use it and buy train tickets using that app.
author image

Sara Więckowska, Software Engineer

Solutions

02

1. Conducting the Discovery Workshop

At the beginning of the project, we analyzed the goals of the project, business requirements, and, with the Client, we planned the whole project roadmap with milestones to achieve on the way with clear metrics and success criteria. Approaching the project like that helped us focus on the most important features first and test them with users as soon as possible.

2. Using microservices to increase efficiency and scalability

We decided to divide different modules into microservices. Each of the microservices can be deployed independently, and if one microservice fails, the others will continue to work. Moreover,  new components can be added to the system without interfering with its structure, and it is possible to scale the services separately from one another. With microservices, we were sure that the app will be efficient and scalable.

3. Implementing different solutions improving customer experience

Interviews with users showed us how different their needs and expectations were. Aiming to make the app easy to use by thousands of travelers, we decided to implement different forms of authentication and different payment methods (including PayU, Visa Checkout, Przelewy24, and BLIK) – all to make it as convenient for the end-users as possible. Throughout the whole process, our UI/UX designers were focused on making the app intuitive and user-friendly.

Technology we used

Angular
Java
JavaScript
Mongo DB

Results

03
A high-performance real-time system that can handle up to 400 concurrent searches per second

The database of registered users holds millions of users who can now buy their tickets anytime and anywhere they want. The system is fast and efficient, being able to handle up to 400 concurrent searches per second. 

Shortening the time of ticket purchase

Thanks to implementing several improvements in the particular stages of the purchase process, we were able to facilitate this process which now takes only a few minutes – even for the new users who need to register – which makes using the app more convenient than going to the ticket office. The application is fully responsive, works on both mobile phones and computers. Its simple and modern design is intuitive for the users.

Enabling data gathering which contributes to a better selling strategy

The Client is able to analyze ticket sales and generate complex reports for past actions in order. The collected data can be used to improve the selling strategy and can be the base for implementing predictive models to increase customer retention and their LTV.

Conclusion

Building an application with a search engine for rail links helped our Client sell more tickets online. At the time we introduced it, it was one of the few engines on the local market that allowed its users to search for rail links with transfers and buy combined tickets - just like in a ticket office. End-customers found the tool simple and convenient to use and the client base quickly grew to over a million registered users!

Do you like our work?

Let’s talk

about your project!

Download now!

Enter your personal and working information.

Webinar on demand

Enter your personal and working information.

Web development outsourcing poland
AI in e-commerce - Greg Gwozdz

Fill out the form below to watch the recording.

Fill out the form below to watch the recording and download the infopack.

Fill out the form below to watch the recording.

Fill out the form below to watch the recording.

Download now!

Enter your personal and working information.

Download now!

Enter your personal and working information.