Saturday, April 9, 2011

IRCTC, get a cape, folks!

I’m not the guy who thinks a glass is half empty, nor one who thinks the beautiful things in life are transparent. But I’m telling you – its high time IRCTC gets at least one thing – A BETTER SERVER!

Ofcourse, IRCTC saves you from standing in the long queue at the railway station, but, well it kinda makes you sit almost the same time in front of your computer :

  • Waiting for the login page to appear, and then the logged-in page to appear

  • Waiting for the train availability to load (with the wait-wheel going round and round and round…. Sometimes, I feel it even gives a villain laugh – “buhuhahahahahah”)

  • Clicking through each button on the way, and biting your nail nervously hoping that after the 5-minute wait, the page loads, and doesn’t time out asking you to do the same thing over all.

  • And, of course, to book multiple tickets – say, two-way tickets from A to B, and from there to B to C, and then all the way back – the need to endure this torture four times!! And that too, with payments!!

Now, one could book from sites like makemytrip, at an additional cost of Rs. 10 per ticket, which eases certain things partly, like number of iterations, but still, the dependency on IRCTC web-services for train availability and reservation weighs them down too!

From what I could perceive, the overall experience with IRCTC could improve with the following:

  • Perform a proper capacity planning exercise, and revamp the deployment architecture and platform. The first and obvious deduction from a deployment which fails to deliver results at peak time, is low capacity  - both processing capability as well as network connectivity. High time a team of specialists roll up their sleeves and get down to that datacenter!

  • The limit of 10 tickets per user per month is still alright (most of the folks I know, has multiple IRCTC ids to beat the system), and the surcharges per ticket is still alright – but, give us a shopping cart and a single checkout! Its textbook, guyz – usability design!!! Remember?! If we purchase four tickets, lets pay it all in one go – we can save time, and you can save on bandwidth and processing power!

  • Give us an option to choose our seats! The algorithm you have now is not very group-friendly! Even if you have vacant space to accommodate a party, you apparently try to fill them into existing gaps. (Well, once we are in the train, we do run our own algorithm, and swap seats with other kind passengers - so why not just save us the pain?!). Even airlines' provide the option to choose one' seat! C'mmon, guyz - its not rocket science!

Seriously, guyz! High time!!

Now, back to the other browser window - let me see if those ticket availabilities have loaded yet! :-(

1 comment:

  1. I hope they are already on it, it would be any performance engineer's dream (or nightmare:))