In cooperation with HSL, we completely overhauled the service to be more useful for the daily needs of public transport users. The customers now have easy access to all mobility information and services in one location. “The service has been well-received and very stable. Hsl.fi also received the Grand One award for the best website,” says Jari Läättä from HSL.
Previously, HSL’s services were something of a complicated arrangement. The technology behind their old website had also reached its end of life. HSL was looking to upgrade the website with modern technologies to use cloud environments and headless architecture. The purpose of the upgrade was to guarantee that the service could provide the best possible customer experience and realise HSL’s strategic objectives – especially by increasing the share of sustainable transport.
Solita was chosen to handle the website’s technical implementation. In addition, Solita has produced the Kaupunkipyörä (city bike) service integrated into the new website and integrated the Reittiopas (journey planner) service into the hsl.fi website.
HSL and Solita have had a strategic partnership for ten years, working on different customer-driven projects. For example, Solita has updated the Reittiopas customer experience with HSL since 2011 and implemented a centralised multi-channel communication solution that allows HSL to use one tool for communication across multiple channels.
Aiming for a personal service experience
The modernisation project had a clear goal: provide all the information and services needed by Helsinki metropolitan area residents for their mobility in one location. Personalisation was also on HSL’s wish list. The personalisation of various functions, such as the news feed, allows HSL customers to have a more personal service experience.
Other objectives included reducing the number of customer service contacts, increasing self-service, and providing options for customers to manage their data. One internal objective was to improve the workflow of the passenger information service to avoid the need to repeat the same actions in multiple places.
“We prioritised offering customers meaningful and relevant information related to their neighbourhood and routes, for example. Integrating the city bike service and journey planner into the main website was another major step forward for the service experience,” says Vesa Herranen, project manager at Solita.
The key role of architecture
The technological solutions had to be compatible with HSL’s architecture and enable effective content management and publishing. The chosen headless architecture separates the content publishing system from the user interface layer by making them communicate through interfaces.
“The headless architecture allows for interfaces that make the website content easily accessible in other HSL services, such as the HSL’s mobile app,” says Vesa Herranen.
The modernisation project utilised the Optimizely CMS content management system. The project also included polished user interfaces for all terminal devices. Microsoft Azure was chosen as the cloud environment.
“What was new and noteworthy for us was the pilot stage: we didn’t publish a complete website right away, instead we used a beta version for a few months. We gathered a lot of valuable customer feedback and made sure the service worked before the full release,” says Jari Läättä from HSL.
“It was a pleasant surprise how well the agile methods used by multi-specialist teams worked remotely when Covid forced us to telework in the midst of the project,” says Läättä.
Exceptional accessibility and clarity of service
After modernisation, the service system has reached a whole new level of usability and customer-friendliness. Customers have praised the upgrade, and it also won the distinguished Grand One award for the best website.
The website’s implementation is superb.
“My personal experience of the current service is that it’s very stable and first-rate. We’ve had practically no technical issues with the service, it’s extremely reliable. There’s been very little need for repairs after the modernisation. The website has worked really well,” says Läättä.