online travel

13 predictable user experience problems on travel websites

It is a curious irony that you end up needing a holiday after trying to book a holiday online. 

I still feel that travel is an area that is lagging behind, when it comes to ecommerce and the user experience (which often leaves a lot to be desired). These sites need to work so much harder than their retail counterparts, for all kinds of reasons. 

Booking a holiday is a leap of faith if you’re visiting somewhere for the first time, and the pre-customer experience is absolutely vital. Attention to detail is paramount.

But every year it’s the same: I brace myself before spending countless hours researching possible destinations, knowing fine well that I’m going to encounter all manner of frustration during the process.

Here are 13 UX issues that I’ve come across over the weekend, while trying to a) find a hotel / villa, and b) hand over a not inconsiderable sum of money in return for c) a fantastic experience. Many of them are easy to fix. Some may seem trivial, but putting any doubt in the mind of the prospective buyer is a dangerous move.

Will Wikivoyage shake up online travel?

Wikipedia is one of the world’s most popular websites and, in the eyes of some, was largely responsible for the demise of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The good news for publishers: the market for encyclopedias is relatively small, so Wikipedia’s popularity has had a relatively limited commercial impact.

The bad news for players in the travel space: the Wikimedia Foundation’s entry into online travel may have broader commercial implications.

What could Google‘s acquisition of ITA Software mean for travel companies?

Last week, Google announced that they had been given the go
ahead by the American Justice Department to buy specialist travel
technology company ITA Software.

There has been some speculation as to
the impact that this will have on the online travel industry and also
Google’s motives behind the $700 million deal. What has not yet been
addressed is how this could actually impact travel websites.