Posted Times In Lines: Another Call For Comments

by 57 Comments

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The TouringPlans.com Team is hard at work improving our website and the Lines mobile application. Previously, I asked you all for feedback on presenting information about posted wait times in Lines. Those comments were extremely helpful!

We now have the following design sample for your consideration. Again, I implore you to offer feedback in the comments. Thank you!

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Posted on April 24, 2012

57 Responses to “Posted Times In Lines: Another Call For Comments”

  • I would put single rider in () after the other times. something like this for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (also make it two lines)

    Rock ‘n’ Roller Expected: 28min (SR: 9min)
    coaster Posted: 35 min (SR: 10min)
    Must be 48″ or taller FASTPASS: 12:00pm

    Use some of the wasted space for the name of attractions that are longer and you can make each rid in 3 lines and not 4 lines for ones with single rider).

    I like the rest of it seeing expected and posted.

  • by Candice Casucci on April 24, 2012, at 12:59 pm EDT

    I like the way your example is layed out. Easy to read and understand, especially if you are trying to read it from a cell phone. Great job!

  • Looks great!

  • I think it would read better if you had the “Expected:”, “Posted:”, “FASTPASS:” and “Single Rider:” all right-justified so the colons are lined up – right now as you scan down the data your eye has to move left and right – it may make it look like less of a jumble.

    I disagree with the comment about putting single-rider in parentheses after other data – only a handful of rides have single riders lines, most people don’t use them, and “SR” would confuse people. I think it’s best to just have them as a separate line for the few attractions that have them.

    • I agree with Clark that left-justified would make it easier to read.

      I also don’t like the light grey lettering. Under bright sunlight I think it would be even harder to see than it is now.

      I do like the whole layout though!

  • I second what Mark said, except maybe I’d say put the “(SR: 10 min) on the same line as the fastpass return time so that it would fit more easily on one line.

  • I don’t think the SR really adds much to the feedback. Most SR lines are nominal anyways so why post about it? I think if you kept it expected, posted and Fastpass that gets 97% of the info you really need.

  • Any way to shoehorn any available “Actual” wait times submitted? I’m always more curious about what Liners in the parks have submitted. And I’m not sure if I like the FP times in bold. Just my $0.02, though. Otherwise, I like the layout. Thanks for the opportunity to give input.

    • by David Davies on April 24, 2012, at 8:21 pm EDT

      The “expected” time that we calculate is based in part on user-submitted data (including data submitted on the same day). You can always tap the Reported Wait Times if you’re curious about that information (I’ve done so many times, myself!).

  • Everything about this looks good. Get it moved live!!
    Personally, I voted for one of the other versions, but I like this too. The info that differentiates the posted wait time and expected wait time is good info.
    Also, as a single rider I often like to see the wait time for single rider. So that’s a good feature as is (NO acronyms.) And it it nicely brought out by being a bigger item on the screen.

    I like having all the published information on that screen. Whereas the click-thru information will give you wait time forecast and posted submissions.

    Here’s an idea for a complicated upgrade: A sort order: right now it’s purely alphabetical. I would like to see a category sort then alpha. For example, the categories would be headliners, then show with show times, then minor rides, and then shows without any show times that permanently say ~ x mins (like hall of presidents).

    Another sort order field would be the “land” category that they are listed on the park map: so adventureland, fantasyland etc…

    One could choose how they are sorting and then it would come up.

    And for the awesomest sort ever: (not really possible, but theoretically possibly) sort order based on distance from your current location. But this would make the app slow and wouldn’t really add value. It would be cool though.

    • by David Davies on April 24, 2012, at 8:25 pm EDT

      If you scroll to the bottom of a park page in Lines, you should see a “Sort” box where you can choose different ways to sort the attractions. We do not currently have “headliners” or “shows” option (although we’re thinking about that, and we group attractions that way in the personalized touring plan tool, so it’s possible). However, we have options for Land, Time, and Super Land (which provides snazzy colors but lists all attractions on one page). I encourage you to check those out.

  • For a cell like Rock ‘n Roller Coaster my eye is naturally drawn to the FP and single rider times rather than the estimated and posted waits because of the colors used. I would put Expected in black (the number of minutes can still be blue) then everything else in gray as the rest is secondary information.

    Otherwise, I think the layout is pretty good.

  • Looks pretty good to me, but then again, I usually just skip ahead to the reported wait times…

  • Like the look, but I would agree with the others who said you should try and line them up vertically if possible.

    Expected : 25 min
    Posted : 15 min
    FastPass : 12:00pm
    Single Rider: 5 min

    • Sorry the post didn’t take my tabs/spaces. What I would try to do is line up the colon on each line vertically. This would make it look a bit cleaner and easier to read.

  • Great new layout! I agree with Scott about maybe changing the color for the word ‘Expected’, since the information in darker colors grabs the attention first. Maybe put the whole ‘expected’ line in that same blue color.
    Good work Touring Plan Team!

  • I’m sorry if I missed this, but where are you now getting your fast pass return times from? Are they still “expected” times based off of historical data? I had a negative experience with this information last year which led to a trip across epcot only to find that fast passes were gone for the day when your app said they were offering return times at 7:45. I usually just go by the reported times from the parks.

    • by David Davies on April 24, 2012, at 8:34 pm EDT

      Like all times displayed in Lines, our FASTPASS return times are mathematically calculated predictions based on wait time data culled from our research and our customers. Our estimates are updated when users submit data from the parks.

      • I have to agree w/Tim. We went mid-April & the only data that wasn’t accurate was FP return times. I entered them as often as I could, but they were sometimes off by as much as 2 hours. Otherwise, lines was awesome.

  • I guess I’m just denser than usual today, but what is the definition of “posted” vs “expected”? Is “posted” the most recent wait time that a user submitted to Lines? And how does that differ from “expected”?

    • by David Davies on April 24, 2012, at 3:28 pm EDT

      All the numbers in Lines are from mathematical predictions that take into account historical and same-day wait times for attractions.

      “Expected” is the time that we expect you to wait in line, from the time you first encounter resistance in line until the time you board the ride vehicle.

      “Posted” is our prediction of the wait time that Disney will put on the sign outside the attraction.

  • I agree with the poster who recommended lining up the colons as right justified for easier & quicker ability to scan the info. Otherwise, looks great.

    I disagree with those who want to add single rider as (SR—) … It would clutter things up, IMO.

  • by Belinda Porter on April 24, 2012, at 2:05 pm EDT

    I really like it! Good job you guys :)

  • I agree with the others who have mentioned lining up the data. Make the colons vertically aligned.

  • by Andrew Drummond on April 24, 2012, at 2:16 pm EDT

    I would be on the side of those who want to keep it to 3 lines always.

    However, one of the best things that could be done for Lines would be for it to have some sort of offline functionality.

    For us non-Americans who can’t use our smartphones in the parks…

    • by David Davies on April 24, 2012, at 8:36 pm EDT

      Offline functionality is on our list of potential enhancements. Even for those of us with US phones, cell phone coverage is spotty enough that use of any Internet-reliant app can lead to frustration in the parks, especially when the parks are crowded.

  • Mostly like the layout but agree that the bold black “Single Rider” is distracting. Maybe put it in grey. It causes the space taken up by that attraction to be larger, but I think having all the times data on the right is better than spreading it out. Also, not that many with single rider so probably isn’t a big deal. I also like the idea of justifying the colons, but is that possible with the different font sizes? I’d have to see it to know if it’s really an improvement.

  • Are there any rides with a longer title than Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster? Even with this entry, things are squished.

    I say this, because I too, would prefer to see the time labels right justified. Even if this is possible with the software, it doesn’t seem possible with the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster attraction. And I’m not sure I would move the expected wait time down one line for this compromise.

    • by David Davies on April 24, 2012, at 8:37 pm EDT

      I expect to shorten some of the attraction titles we use in Lines to avoid conflicts. Thanks for noticing!

  • Does everyone understand the difference between what “Expected” means and what “Posted” means?

    • I understood the difference, though when I first saw this post, I went back to the first in this series (http://blog.touringplans.com/2012/04/12/poll-how-to-display-posted-wait-times-in-lines/) because I thought it said something different (and it did). The application originally had “Actual Wait”. I think the difference between Actual and Posted is more easily understood than Expected and Posted, but semantics being what they are, Lines is predicting an expected wait time, not the actual wait time. No need to get sued on semantics in case the actual wait time is off by a minute.

  • I would love to see actual as posted by other users instead of the posted time. Found that to be most useful in the lines app. That should be black.

    Sort by area would be awesome (Future World, Fantasyland…).

  • We just got back a couple days ago and I used Lines extensively (I found it more useful than the official Disney app). I like your new expanded information and agree with many suggestions here: right justifying the colons, keeping the single rider information (this is something we really wanted to know when the stand-by line got long), and providing a way to sort the data in different ways (that would be VERY helpful). I assumed that “posted” meant times that other Liners in the park provided or posted. If “posted” is the time you anticipate Disney to put up on their signs, could you call this “official”(and maybe list it first)followed by TP’s “predicted”. Thanks for such a great app – it was my favorite tool on our recent trip!

    • by David Davies on April 24, 2012, at 8:40 pm EDT

      All our wait times take into account user submissions and historical data. If someone submits a posted time, that affects the posted time that we will display in Lines. For that reason, displaying user-submitted times should not be more helpful than what we display in the big list; however, if you’re interested in that, tap on the Reported Wait Times button underneath all the attractions.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the app!

  • I thought expected was the prediction made by touringplans.com and posted was a compilation of the user reports regarding disney’s posted wait time. Apparently I’m wrong: posted means touringplan.coms algorithmic prediction of what disney’s posted time would be at the moment.

    I don’t think any one word description will be explanatory enough. But there should be an explanation somewhere in the app maybe.

    • by David Davies on April 24, 2012, at 8:44 pm EDT

      I don’t think you’re wrong. Our mathematical predictions make use of both past and same-day customer-submitted data. If no one has submitted a posted time yet, we display what we predict it will be. If someone submits a posted wait, we adjust what we display based on what was submitted.

  • I agree that putting the Single Rider (I assume this is the expected, not posted) time right after the standby expected time. I’d also be ok with the SR in parenthesis following the normal standby time

    There’s something funky with the colors. I think I’d like the expected and FASTPASS times in blue, since that’s most like what I’m quickly scanning the screen to look for.

    Thanks for asking!

    • by David Davies on April 24, 2012, at 8:45 pm EDT

      I found that when the “Expected” text is in blue, the expected time did not stand out enough. That said, I appreciate the color suggestions that folks have made, and I’ll likely try out some different combinations.

  • I think no abbreviations is best. I prefer whichever (expected or posted) you think is more accurate to be in black. Then alternate lines in black and grey. thanks for your hard work.

    • by David Davies on April 24, 2012, at 8:47 pm EDT

      The “expected” wait time is how long we think you’ll actually wait. The “posted” wait time is what we think Disney will have posted on the sign.

      Adding an explanation of these terms is likely worthwhile. Thanks!

      • by Heather Lousie on April 25, 2012, at 1:08 pm EDT

        Thank you. I was trying to figure out exactly what each of them meant myself. I have also looked through the site to see what,for example, “One Man’s Dream -7 expected time” means. Is the line -7 minutes long? I noticed that they are mainly on shows so I presume that means something. Did I miss where that is explained?

  • I would put the single rider times below the Posted time so that the wait times are all together and the Fast Pass time is always on the bottom.

  • I like it.

  • Add actual time and make it the first time listed. Unbold single rider.

  • Ride name should stay black, the word “Expected” should be blue, the expected time should stay blue and all other info should be grey. The two most important pieces of info are the name and expected wait time. Everything else is secondary. So the important stuff should stand out. Also I agree with some that the SR info is not really needed. Plus, is that time “expected” or “posted”? Maybe it should be added to the corresponding line:

    Expected: 28 min (SR 9 min)
    Posted: 35 min
    FASTPASS: 12:00pm

    or

    Expected: 28 min
    Posted: 35 min (SR 9 min)
    FASTPASS: 12:00pm

    Then have a note at the bottom of that page that says:
    SR = Single Rider wait time

    Also, not sure why FASTPASS is in ALL CAPS. Maybe it won’t be as bad if that is all in grey.

  • 1. What does the ~ in front of the One Man’s Dream expected time signify? Does it mean approximately?

    2. Why is the word Expected needed? Isn’t it superfluous?

    3. Why display the Posted time at all? It doesn’t seem to add anything that would help me decide whether or not to visit an attraction. From the post above:

    “Expected” is the time that we expect you to wait in line, from the time you first encounter resistance in line until the time you board the ride vehicle.

    “Posted” is our prediction of the wait time that Disney will put on the sign outside the attraction.

    To be brutal, why should I care what time you think Disney will post?

    • Ah, Toby, good question.

      The current version of Lines displays the estimate for what you’ll actually spend in line. For example, we might say “44 minutes” for Splash Mountain.

      The single largest source of negative feedback we get, by a large margin, is from people who go to Splash Mountain, look at a wait of 60 minutes posted on the sign outside the ride, and say we’re wrong because we show 44.

      In short, many people who use Lines don’t know that the number we post is the actual wait. And we shouldn’t expect users to have to read a manual or a footnote to figure that out.

      What we’re trying to do with this UI change is be absolutely clear that (1) we know what Disney has posted outside the attraction; and (2) despite what Disney has posted, this is how long we think you’ll wait.

      We can talk about fonts, weights and alignment, but that’s the gist of the goal for this change. It absolutely has to spell out those two things.

      Awesome question. Thanks for asking.

      Len

      • Right, I get it. It’s like saying:
        TP says: 45 mins
        Disney says: 60 mins
        But… both are mathematically generated by TP, with some input from user submittals, hence the terms Expected and Posted.

    • by David Davies on April 25, 2012, at 1:15 pm EDT

      We use the tilde (~) for “continuous” shows (like Enchanted Tiki Room and Country Bears) that do not start and stop on a precise schedule. The time after the tilde represents the average wait time for these shows; half the time your actual wait will be longer, and half the time it will be shorter.

      In the case of One Man’s Dream, the average wait to get into the theater to see the film is 7 minutes. The line to enter the building and see the exhibits is generally non-existent.

      • How complicated would it be to offer a Preferences feature to allow users to configure which features should be presented on the UI?

        For example:

        Show height requirements? [Yes(default)|No]
        Show posted times? [Yes(default)|No]
        Show single rider times? [Yes(default)|No]
        Show closed attractions? [Yes(default)|No]
        … you get the idea…

        I’d set all of the above to No.

        • by David Davies on April 25, 2012, at 8:24 pm EDT

          While not complicated, per se, designing and implementing this sort of thing would not take us a short amount of time. It’s a neat idea, though. I’ll all it to our growing list of potential enhancements.

          This sort of project could potentially snowball into something much larger, though; there are a lot of things that we could allow customers to customize in Lines.

  • I would like to see the single rider lines in grey, they are distracting in bold. Otherwise, it looks good.

  • Thanks for making the current version compatible with my “dumb phone.” The older version wasn’t at all. :)

  • This may be biased because I don’t tour with children but I don’t think the height requirements are necessary on the front page. I think a short ride description would be more useful for first timer visitors. Saying “Tower of Terror: dark freefall ride” is more helpful for determining a child’s ability to go on an attraction than the height requirement.

    I also agree that the expected and posted wait times should be black rather than the single rider wait time.

    Otherwise, I think it looks great!

  • Single Rider is a MUST. PLEASE keep it.
    It should go before FP return time for a more “consistent” look, i.e. all wait times listed, then FP return time. Agree w/Right-justification idea.

    BTW, I always sort the rides by wait time, so please leave that option in — just in case anyone was thinking of removing it. :-)

    Awesome resource, many thanks!!

  • I like this! Have you ever considered making “walk through” attractions like Treehouse, Boneyard, HISTK, etc with the option to enter “online” or “offline” options? This would be helpful for when they open or close earlier than that day’s operating hours, close for weather, close or open during EMH or for a portion of EMH, etc.