This is a very popular website( irctc.co.in) in India which is being used by more than 20 Million Indians to book their railways tickets.

But here's something I've found:

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When you book your ticket through this website, you will have to add your age and check the box in case your are a senior citizen. I find that this can be easily done just by setting auto-detect that checks the age filled and applies the filter if the applicant is a senior citizen. This would be fairly easy for a website that gets more than 120,000 users booking tickets at the same instant, however I would like to know if there are any other reasons for which this website has this feature?

  • 1
    The best UI is no UI! There had better be a good reason for asking someone their age and sex otherwise don't ask.
    – DaveAlger
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 20:44
  • What is the rational to posting a question of why someone did a bad design? If you had a rational to this design would it help you?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 2:56
  • @Blam If you have read Raj's answer you would've know that there are some possible reasons why the "Senior Citizen" is asked in a separate tab. And why are you assuming it is a bad design? This could be a very good example of optimized UX if there's anything related.
    – Pj_
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 4:10

2 Answers 2


I think Brian has already answered part of it, but adding some points as I have seen the use in real world.

Senior citizens in India for railway purpose is 58 for women and 60 for men. The ticket inspector looking at the list will have to keep looking if the person is considered senior or not based on two columns and not one. making it difficult for him(not gender biased, but i have never seen a female TT)

Apart from that, you get the senior citizen discount only if you carry accompanying age proof document. for example, you can say you are 62 year old man, but if you do not have the document then you should not have got the discount. so for railway discount purposes, you have to explicitly say that you want the discount and will get the document to show as proof.

so, i guess the title is what is wrong. it should have been called like 'senior citizen discount*'

Hope this helps :)

  • 1
    Good reasoning. But here's the thing, as you select the gender your age for senior citizenship should automatically be selected accordingly. And, nowadays it is mandatory for travelers to keep their ID card for verification with them, so that eliminates the last point. But you really made some very good points, I need to look in to the mechanics of irctc verification for some additional information. Thanks :)
    – Pj_
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 20:41

Perhaps there is a simple explanation the designers have considered: people are sometimes shy to disclose their exact age, but are more than happy to divulge that they are a senior citizen. A use-case could be a discount applied to ticket prices.

Age, along with the inclusion of sex, may correspond to ticket printing so an employee can quickly verify a person's ticket to their appearance? Metric-gathering on ridership also comes to mind.

A final thought, don't discount the possibility of someone binding the underlying datamodel directly to the UI - and thus introducing some cruft. There could be field in a database that tracks age and this senior citizen flag, used elsewhere on the site or the transit system, and it was an oversight to implement the design in the same fashion.

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