On loving the internet version of Countdown

The web implementation of the TFL Busses countdown data is useful, and pleasing.

Every time I use countdown.tfl.gov.uk or more commonly the mobile version I find it inexplicably pleasing. I thought I’d try to figure out why:

  1. It meets a real need. Knowing whether to wait for the irregular but useful 355 was the bane of a previous commute. If it was due I could be at Brixton in 5 minutes, if it was running late I could walk faster than wait the 15+ minutes for it.
  2. It super serves that need: no longer am I restricted to viewing the stop I’m at: I can answer “do i get this bus at stop x or that bus at stop y” from my phone. If services are rare, I can time my exit from the house to avoid standing in the rain.
  3. It just feels future-y. Interactions of things in the real world with that panel of glass in your pocket always feel a bit more special than posting a funny tweet.

I mean, sure I’ve nearly missed the bus arriving sometimes because I’ve been too busy checking when it’s due, but still, it’s just pleasing.