NS set out to create a digital service for rail travel. To maintain its premier service position, NS established a future-forward vision of personalized customer service for each passenger, creating a digital service for rail travel that guides passengers from door to door.
In execution, that translates to:
It’s an ambitious plan, one that required argo to help shape the broader vision and process of getting to the final application, as well as execute on the UX required to see it to fruition.
NS began by focusing on the concept of freedom—one of the hardest attributes to achieve in travel and transport—and the core abstract aspect of the work argo does to enhance overall customer satisfaction.
Freedom is the final frontier in commuter travel; the offering which allows users the greatest freedom will win. A truly free experience means facilitating a customer through the nine steps of travel, from door to door. As riders in the Netherlands have begun to use other online tools to fill in the gaps in their travel journeys, NS wanted to reclaim the end-to-end digital experience for its travelers.
argo helped establish the NS Lab app to test the nine-step paradigm, providing travel guidance as passengers navigate their journey, and to serve as a testbed for interactive content developed by others.
Featuring a travel companion giving step-by-step directions and live trip information, automatic detection of the train you are in, and entertainment specifically tailored for you, the Lab app also serves as an experimental platform for a mindfulness app, podcasts, and interactive quiz.
A vision that both improves the experience and makes people rethink their views of rail travel can be hard to translate to a team; we worked with NS to develop tangible tools to activate the vision. Travel guidance, for example, gives the passenger a closer and more informed look at what it’s like to go from station to station.
A first-person view of each train was also constructed, giving riders an idea of the composition and crowding of their particular line. All of the individual concepts coalesce to form a broader picture, better informing the eventual destination for NS’ complete service.
With the NS Lab app in place as a test ground, argo is working to extend this experience across all steps of the passenger’s door-to-door journey, taking on what is the biggest challenge: truly integrating the first and last mile into the experience, and co-creating with passengers to create the travel experience of the future.