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Let's play a game... How many years out-of-date is united.com?

Let's play a game... How many years out-of-date is united.com?

Old Aug 30, 14, 9:13 am
  #46  
 
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From an aesthetic point of view, the old UA web site was much nicer; I really miss the old graphics, but no question the CO based site we use now is more functional, especially in areas such as booking reward tickets.

For those of us who have been around for bit, let's not forget how late to the game the old UA website was with basic functionality like online seat selection. Remember when you could only select your seats online when booking a flight, but if you wanted to change seats later you had to call?

Other good features, like the listing of amenities for a flight and details on a plane's configuration and the "where is this plane coming from" are all from the CO side.
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Old Aug 30, 14, 9:49 am
  #47  
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When I started teaching "web design" (back then we just used basic html) in high school - in the 1990s - one of the "home pages" we referred to as a model was that of MIT. Simple. Functional. Elegant. Relevant. Text links!!!

I just took a look at today's MIT website. Without bothering to "look under the hood", where I'm sure there may have been some significant changes in coding, the basic look and feel of the site remains as it was in the 1990s.

Note to OP: When something is done right the first time, there's no need to change it.

Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Because a proper UI makes things easier to understand and find on the site. It is when a developer goes too far beyond putting a basic UI on the site into all the other "glitz" where things start to fail.
The United app of just a couple of iterations back was an example of a really bad UI. Vague icons with no text might work for Ancient EgyptAir, but this English speaker found it utterly frustrating.

Last edited by kale73; Aug 30, 14 at 9:56 am
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Old Aug 30, 14, 10:16 am
  #48  
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I hope they don't [mess] up a good thing....

Let's be fair. UA.COM may look a little dated but it does offer, overall, the best functionality in the airline biz. That's one area where they really do whip the competition. UA.COM's features like expert mode really do help us out if we don't have EF subscriptions, and the award booking tool, in spite of recent reversions to inventory, is the best out there. No other platform shows as complete a list of partner inventory in such a useful way, so quickly and clearly.

By contrast, DL.COM award booking is unspeakable. The interface has been designed deliberately to make it more difficult to find available inventory. Even AA.COM by comparison has super-annoying user-inihibition features e.g. the difficulty in changing award search parameters after the initial search, and it certainly doesn't display as wide a range of 1W partners as UA.COM does for *A.

There's much more... just try applying a DL GPU online and you will see why SM and DL.COM are :-: best in class :-: without doubt.

I fear any and all changes to UA.COM for the sake of "appearance." Management often uses these changes as a cloak for useability reductions, for example by reducing the ways in which we can query the inventory and see what's globally available and/or by adding extra steps to prevent consumers from booking what they really want and channeling them into fewer options based on overall IM logics that don't help us at all (e.g. masking IAH connections even those these are legal and available under fare rules). To some extent this is already happening in the background, but I bet a new interface will result in a further reduction in the quality of the overall UA customer experience.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 30, 14 at 5:54 pm Reason: Profanity removed
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Old Aug 30, 14, 11:01 am
  #49  
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Originally Posted by redtailshark View Post
Management often uses these changes as a cloak for useability reductions, for example by reducing the ways in which we can query the inventory and see what's globally available and/or by adding extra steps to prevent consumers from booking what they really want and channeling them into fewer options based on overall IM logics that don't help us at all (e.g. masking IAH connections even those these are legal and available under fare rules).
In this case, they are doing their customers a huge favor.
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Old Aug 30, 14, 11:11 am
  #50  
 
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I don't have a lot of experience with DL.com, but I used to fly AA, and the girlfriend still does, so I have some experience there. Last week she had me check to see if her DFW-NRT flight would have the new J config. I assumed this just entailed pulling up the flight status for that flight and looking at the seat map. Nope. The AA.com flight status page doesn't even show equipment, much less a seat map. I had to make a dummy booking to see the seat map. This is just one example, but there are many more. When I started flying UA, one of the things that impressed me was how much more UA's website/app could do. As for aesthetics, UA has a finite amount of money to put into the website, and I would much prefer function over form. I think we all would.
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Old Aug 30, 14, 11:29 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Boo_Radley View Post
As for aesthetics, UA has a finite amount of money to put into the website, and I would much prefer function over form.
For aesthetics, I visit louvre.fr, hermitage.org, mv.vatican.va, or moma.org.

For booking air travel, united.com is just fine the way it is. ^
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Old Aug 30, 14, 11:33 am
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Boo_Radley View Post
As for aesthetics, UA has a finite amount of money to put into the website, and I would much prefer function over form. I think we all would.
I'd prefer they change to the format .bomb used to display flight options on one page. That isn't a form addition, it's a function issue. But since we can't have anything from pmUA except for the name of the airline and E+, I guess we're stuck with a less efficient site.
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Old Aug 30, 14, 12:39 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by rittenhousesq View Post
For those of us who have been around for bit, let's not forget how late to the game the old UA website was with basic functionality like online seat selection. Remember when you could only select your seats online when booking a flight, but if you wanted to change seats later you had to call?
Oh wow I'd forgotten about that. That was as late as at least 2004, I remember calling after an upgrade had cleared. "Okay is 1A open? Alright I'll take that"
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Old Aug 30, 14, 1:02 pm
  #54  
 
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i so much preferred the old site where you could see both outgoing and returning flights and corresponding price when you moused over.
now it has become a lot more complicated with a new page, order shuffled etc.

oops. i see halls120 has the same idea.
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Old Aug 30, 14, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by flyingbroom View Post
i so much preferred the old site where you could see both outgoing and returning flights and corresponding price when you moused over.
now it has become a lot more complicated with a new page, order shuffled etc.

oops. i see halls120 has the same idea.
I had forgotten about that feature. It would have been better if you could have sorted the different options by price or if there were some way to indicate which two were the cheapest, but otherwise that was a nice feature. Yeah, bring that back, please.

And good design and user experience is not anathema to functionality, as so many people here puzzlingly believe. You people do realize that it's possible to have both.
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Old Aug 30, 14, 10:24 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by char777 View Post
And good design and user experience is not anathema to functionality, as so many people here puzzlingly believe. You people do realize that it's possible to have both.
Any new design will not be implemented for the sake of functionality... it will be to bombard us with more ads, pop-up commercials, and offers for any number of ancillary items. This crap clutters the web page and inevitably slows down the internet connection and the search & booking process.
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Old Aug 30, 14, 10:36 pm
  #57  
 
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Although the site looks a bit dated I would much prefer that they spend their time adding functionality rather than beautifying or restructuring it. And the site does offer me the ability to do lots of things I can't do with some other sites - like apply upgrade certs, or book a ticket with one way in economy and the other way in First, for example.
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Old Aug 30, 14, 10:42 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
You can have a fast, functional website that is also easy on the eyes and at least somewhat in the 21st century for look and feel. @:-)

Amazon is an example that comes immediately to mind.
Thank you, I never understand why these discussions invariably end up with the idea that you have to take one or the other. Both please!
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Old Aug 30, 14, 11:30 pm
  #59  
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
You can have a fast, functional website that is also easy on the eyes and at least somewhat in the 21st century for look and feel.
Pick two. In my opinion, the "21st century look and feel" does not help to create functional or attractive web sites. Basically the past 10 years of web UI changes (note I intentionally do not use the word "design") have all taken leaps backwards in usability and have yet to come up with a site that satisfies the conditions put forth in this thread.

Web designers need to learn from newspaper design. If you have to scroll to get the useful information, you have lost. Everything important must be "above the fold". Fisher-Price web interfaces violate this basic tenet.

Last edited by mahasamatman; Aug 30, 14 at 11:36 pm
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Old Aug 31, 14, 12:01 am
  #60  
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
Pick two. In my opinion, the "21st century look and feel" does not help to create functional or attractive web sites. Basically the past 10 years of web UI changes (note I intentionally do not use the word "design") have all taken leaps backwards in usability and have yet to come up with a site that satisfies the conditions put forth in this thread.

Web designers need to learn from newspaper design. If you have to scroll to get the useful information, you have lost. Everything important must be "above the fold". Fisher-Price web interfaces violate this basic tenet.
What you talk about is more in the area of overall design, not look-and-feel, IMO.

Example: FlyerTalk. It's functional. It's NOT attractive by 2014 standards. Lots of black lines separating boxes; Windows-95 blue color heading boxes; very difficult when someone posts a pic of a too-large size (that's more functional but it definitely is related to L&F).

It is quite possible to have an IBB that retains the functionality of FT but enhances the overall experience so that it doesn't look stuck in 1993. Heck, MilePoint is an interesting example - functionally, it's essentially the same as FT, but it's a far more elegant interface.

Amazon's website looks nothing like it did in 1995, or 2000, or 2005, but it remains easy to find what you need, narrow down selections, check status of orders, and other stuff related to an online retail catalog.

There was definitely a fad out there to rely too heavily on Java, weird color combinations, etc. especially around 2010. Most of that seems to have been wrung out of the system, at least at the large online company level - unless you have a garish example you want to give a shout-out to.

Marriott went overboard the wrong way around 2011 or so but seems to have recovered and is a decent hotel website these days.
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