please empty your brain below

AS I've said before, I think this colouring system is illogical. To me, if a line is running normally, it should be its normal colour - the way it's displayed on every map, everywhere. If it isn't available (i.e. not the 'normal' service), it should be greyed out.

Can't get my head around normal colour = avoid, greyed out = go for it!

Errr, I think they're canada geese rather than ducks. But it's still a nice photo...

Dammit. Baldassaro has nicked what I was going to say

I thoroughly agree, Steven. They could at least make that an option for those of us who prefer it that way.

I did send them an email about this but they don't listen to me. Actually, I send them lots of emails about lots of things. Maybe I should send another.

Keep sending the emails, Mr Mouse, we love ignoring them

The purpose of the map is to highlight the tube lines with problems. So it makes a lot more sense to have the lines without problems greyed out and the lines with disruptions coloured in – you want to see the exceptions, not the norm. I don’t want to go to the page and spend two minutes staring at a map with everything coloured, playing a game of “odd one out” to see which is the one line having problems.

As an example - right now, the whole map is gray and the only thing in colour is Maida Vale, which is closed due to a power failure. Imagine if everything was coloured in EXCEPT Maida Vale. Would you be able to tell, at a quick glance, that there’s a problem there?


But problems in Maida Vale would be irrelevant to me unless I was going there or through there. I don't need an overview of all the problems on the network. I'm only interested in my proposed route.

In reality, if I am planning a tube journey, I already know my route. I look on the map to see if it's viable. If it was greyed out, I'd know there was a problem; if it's the normal colour, I would know that the service is normal.

In my experience there is ALWAYS a problem, unless I have bad karma where trains are concerned.

Steven – by the same token, if you already know your route, it’s irrelevant to you how awesomely the other tube lines are running so highlighting them with different colours would just add clutter. In fact if you already know your route, the map itself is irrelevant – you only really need to check the text and make sure your line has a ‘Good service’.

However if I’m planning a journey from Stratford to Bond Street and there’s a big red line on the map I can tell instantly I must avoid the Central Line and take the Jubilee instead.


Displaying the map in it's normal format isn't "highlighting them with different colours" is it? Nor is it "adding clutter". It's merely showing it in the manner to which everyone is comfortable, and are used to picking out their route on, rather than in an inverted fashion.

In many applications (esp. on the web), items or text being greyed out indicates non-availability. It seems rather perverse, and not in keeping with good design principles, to deviate from this.

I want to glance at the lines I'm using, see they're 'live' (i.e. their normal colour) and I'm ready to go.

And for "big red line", one could equally substitute "big grey line"...

I don't actually use the tube but it's the version that Steven is suggesting that's winning me over in this one. 'Greyed out' is such obvious "good design" that it's pretty much self-explanatory.

(I could also easily agree that there was sound logic to an earlier suggestion... that the best way to illustrate where to find toilets would be to have one map for gents' and another for ladies'. [possibly sharing both sides of the same piece of paper])

>And for "big red line", one could equally substitute "big grey line"...

The way I see it is the map shows travel alerts. I want the alert to clearly show what's *not* working. I don't want the fire alarm at work to flash and sound when things are going great - that's where I'm coming from.

And TfL seems to agree with me so I shouldn't be caring this much

Yes bu normally the big red line means there is an underground line I can catch between Bond Street and Stratford. But now the big red line means I can't go this way between Bond Street and Stratford and being greyed out is a positive sign.

Actually I can see the arguments on both sides and really couldn't care less as I am undecided myself which way is better.

It's context I suppose - is it a tube map or a travel alert map?

I think the same principle is at work as with the text travel alerts. When there's good service it says so with a white background and light gray text. Severe delays and suspensions are in a more eye-catching bold and highlighted in dark blue.

I with Debster on this one.

And I wanted to say quack quack- but they aren't ducks.

Honk! Honk!

It is a nice photo, but anyone who clicked on it was at least interested enough to read to the end!

It seems that TfL are listening to their customers' suggestions regarding improvements to their service update tube map. Now if they'd only listen to our requests for lower tube fares...

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