15 June 2020

The Usability Brisbane Deserves: Lamb's Vision for Go Card.

The GoCard has been a part of Brisbane's public transport system for over 20 years now. The tap on tap off system was a vast improvement to the archaic ticket-based system. But it is reaching its end-of-life, and is due for replacement in the next year or two. Given its age, and that digital was never really a major consideration in the development of the project, we can understand that its digital interface was never going to be a shining example of contemporary digital practice. In places, it can be a bit clunky to use. It's not the best on mobile. We figured that given that pretty much the entire Lamb Agency team uses the system as part of our digital therapy sessions, we would sit down and think about how we would improve the GoCard system.

What do you think? Do you think our vision for the GoCard system is an improvement? There are a few areas that we focused on for improvement including:

  • Increased design sophistication

  • Decreased information density for clarity

  • Larger text for readability

  • Improved visual structure for scan-ability


It's not always critical to add a positioning statement to highly functional systems, it can serve to reinforce key ideas in the end users. The GoCard is largely pretty system-easy, and with a sparkling new digital design and experience, it will be so much more convenient. We have used the brand colours to make the copy a little more interesting.

Information Architecture

The information architecture of the existing home page is a bit messy. It requires that you scan each element of the page to find what you are looking for, there is no particular rhythm or rhythm to its structure. So, what about our solution?

  • Break the design into 3 discrete sections - header, copy, and action.

  • Unmissable login button.

  • Available but tidy menu navigation.

  • Homogeneous button configuration to improve scalability.

  • Increased button sizing for improved mobile experience.


When it comes to the CTA's, the GoCard home page is more of a dashboard-like capability. The existing structure tends to focus on the existing user journey with the login form heavily emphasised. In our experience, we tend to find that existing users tend to have a better familiarity with the system so we can provide them with a prominent capability to what what we want, but tucked away so that it's not taking up too much space. We are particularly interested in the two user cases of registering a GoCard and the top-up, as we know these are the two most likely actions a user will want to undertake. Technically the top-up could be placed within the login section, but we want to orient the interface to how the users are thinking - not the abstracted set of steps we have structured for them to take.


Being a functionally oriented site with a handful of primary use cases, the remaining content is more of a support orientation and is tucked away into a burger menu in the standard place you would expect.


The Translink/GoCard brand has a number of nice elements to work with. The colours available are varied and interesting. The main elements we focused on aesthetically were:

  • Upgraded the design to a contemporary design style

  • Improved use of white space

  • Visual clustering of elements

  • More judicious use of colour to draw attention

  • Selection of a cleaner font at a larger text size

  • Reduction in visual density


Normally, we extensively consult and workshop solutions. And interaction with the customer does produce a better solution for the customer and one that better fits the brand. However, we believe there is an improvement through our initial consideration work:

Do you disagree? What do you think?

Would you like 5 easy-to-implement usability ideas?

If you liked our thinking and were interested in what we would do for you, let us have a quick look at your website or application. We'll talk you through your goals, pain points and highlight what we think would be the most effective set of improvements you could make to your user experience. Register here or drop me a line at greg@lamb.com.au.

Greg is the Managing Director of Lamb Agency, a digital agency focused on creating industry-leading websites.

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