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Flight search aggregator Nowfly was launched at the end of last year, and the company has just launched a redesigned version of the site.
The colour scheme has been changed on the homepage and the search box has been moved up the page, to give it more prominence. Elsewhere, the new blog content is being promoted via links on the right.
It's a simple homepage, and though there are a few suggested destinations underneath the search box, it seems designed to get visitors using the search function.
A few tweaks to the flight search function have been made which have improved the usability since the last time I reviewed the site. For example, the auto suggest feature comes up with suggested destinations earlier than before, after the first three letters have been typed:
This is useful, as it helps avoid searchers inputting misspelled destinations and returning no results at all, and also allows them to select all airports from the same departure or destination city, rather than being forced to specify one and narrow the search, as some travel websites do.
Other search options are what you would expect; departure and return dates, number of passengers etc. All good, but allowing users to search for flights two or three days either side of the dates specified, or just selecting a destination country would provide more flexible options.
Lastminute.com's search box is a good example of this, it makes the search as flexible and broad, or as specific as users want.
Nowfly searches for flights from upwards of 300 airlines, and does a good job of returning results quickly. Whereas some travel sites I have tried can take anything up to 30 seconds to load results, Nowfly rarely takes more than a couple of seconds.
Flights are listed by cheapest first by default, though there are plenty of sorting options so you can view by airline, flight duration etc:
Filters also allow you to narrow the search by number of stops, departure airports or airline, and the results page updated instantly.
Rather than showing both departure and return flights on the one page, you must first select your outbound flight before being shown the results page for return flight, before sending you to the airline's website to complete your booking.
You can also look for hotels on the same results page, a useful option, but though Google Maps has been used on the site, it as not been fully integrated with the search results.
It would have been useful to see hotels plotted on the map, so users could see the location in relation to the city centre, airports or other places of interest, something that would help people make a decision about where to stay. Instead, users have to do all the work here, as the map isn't even zoomed in to show my destination.
The changes have improved the search function on the site, and made it a little easier to use, while the addition of blog content from people like James Cracknell is a good idea to draw people in, as well as improving SEO.
While the main function of the site, the flight search, works well and returns results quickly, there are still a few tweaks that could be made here and there to improve the overall user experience.