In Milan, like in many other cities, public transport tickets have a magnetic strip on the side that is used to check their validity by means of electronic readers.
Even now, some years after the introduction of the new tickets, a lot of people still insert their tickets in the readers in the wrong direction, and can’t pass the turnstiles until they get it right. The technical reason for that is the magnetic strip placed on one side of each ticket so that it can be read by a machine, but it’s a poor design choice forcing people to pay attention to a puny detail such as this.
Even if modern trains are getting more and more friendly to passengers, many of them are still terribly lacking if we consider this aspect, at least in Italy.
As I’m writing this post I’m travelling through Tuscany on the railway. I’m not familiar with the landmarks, the train doesn’t announce its stops and it’s dark outside, making it impossible to read the names of the stations until it’s too late to jump off.