Wotif launches Wotflight – let’s test it out

Wotif have launched a new site – Wotflight. It only applies only to Australian flights for now, but it is certainly worth a look.

I like the simple approach, and there are some nice user interface elements.

Looks great doesn’t it? Clearly there has been a good designer involved.

I went ahead and tried to book a flight. However I failed on the first page trying to search for a one-way flight Sydney to Perth.

That’s when I noticed the large “one way” and “return” tabs on the top left. They seem to be on most airline’s sites, but I contend that they should be history by now. If I don’t want a return flight then why can I not just leave the date empty? Alternatively (and additionally) why not give me a click-box?

While we are at it the return date is in a strange place – why not move it over under the outward date?

So I’ve had a go at editing the home page it to remove everything that is not required. What do you think?

You could remove even more if you try. I’m guessing the designer was told what to put in, and that the usability person didn’t have much say.

The results page has also been designed – and is stunning looking.

It’s quite a lot to take in, but I found it easy enough to navigate. It shows all the options on one page – from flight times and durations to seat types and costs.

Click on “select” under a ticket and you come to the buy summary page. It is not too bad:

However once again while it looks nice, some improvement is required. Here’s the really obvious one:

and there is plenty more to do on that page. So let’s look at the next, payment page:

Scary. It’s lovely to look at in one sense, but simply too scary in another. My hypothesis with the site is that it was done by some pretty good designers, but it was not user tested very much, if at all, and it was subject to some constraints by a business person.

But then – I’m just one more user.

Overall – a good launch effort, but the real work starts now in the daily tweaking.

About Lance Wiggs

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4 Responses to Wotif launches Wotflight – let’s test it out

  1. Dave says:

    Just my 2c but it looks to me as though you’re trying to judge a new idiom within the context of an old one. When it comes to the one-way vs return checkbox your expectations of flow are obviously predicated upon the layout of all the other flight booking sites out there. I tried the site today and the one-way click was no more or less onerous than your suggested checkbox click. I haven’t looked into statistics but in my experience I almost always book a return ticket for work or play so by defaulting to return (the opposite of your checkbox) I actually saved a click. Where you’ve placed the checkbox after the destination field you’ve done the opposite of how the average person thinks when making a booking I suspect. The binary division of one-way/return happens before destination selection in my mind. I may be different to most people, but again I suspect your expectations have been coloured by the dozens of airline clone booking engines out there. I find wotflight a refreshing change from the overwhelmingly noisy existing booking sites.

    I would agree that the search results page was a lot to take in when I first saw it, but it has achieved some clear usability aims I think. It delivers all the information in one page, which is a clear design aim for the site, but doesn’t present information until the user requests it (via rollovers and floating DIVs) – cake + eat.

    The colours chosen are more than eye-candy. The harsh contrasts you see on so many information rich sites are super distracting from the information they are trying to present. I find the pleasing contrasts and shades very effective at focussing my attention on the most important information on each page. I don’t need any giant red flashing marquee book now buttons – I knew I was booking and followed the steps sequentially to the bottom of the form where – you guessed it – there was a “book it” button.

    When it comes to the booking page seeing it all on one page wasn’t nearly as scary as having to page back and forward in the browser to confirm what I was paying for.

    The comprehensive user help wasn’t that useful to me as it all just made sense as it was but I can see how people used to the Jetstar, Qantas or Virgin sites might need help breaking with the familiar idiom.

    All in all though the whole process was a complete breeze so I doubt they’ll lose any fans over the differences. Clean, clear and concise – I like it.

    Dave

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    • Lance Wiggs says:

      Hi Dave I like the site too – they are doing some good stuff, but I just think it could be even simpler and better.

      I’m not proposing to change the default on the home page from a return flight – merely to make it easier to change to a one way flight, and to remove the tabs which I struggled to see. AirNZ.co.nz’s front page is what I am used to (cluttered as it is), and it has a simple selector for one-way or return – defaulted to return. I like that.

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  2. Dave says:

    by defaulting to return (the opposite of your checkbox) …

    oops, my mistake – but the rest remains

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  3. good review Lance.

    i had a stab aswell and picked up a couple other things, most notably velocity silver and gold members missing out on 23kg free checked luggage. http://bit.ly/cKOF7v

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