Travel & Tourism

Travelocity Redesign

By William Bakker | 03.26.04 | Comment?

Travelocity.com launched it’s redesigned website recently.

A lot I’ve read about the new look & feel, and in particular the logo (dubbed guiding stars), is pretty funny. Jeff Glueck, chief marketing officer for Travelocity states in a News Release:

“Stars are the traveler’s natural compass”

Whatever. I agree with The Motley Fool:

…they look to me more like jigsaw puzzle pieces or butterflies in a crayon factory..

Jeff Glueck has more to say:

“Each decision was a step toward creating an inspirational and rewarding experience with Travelocity, where customers feel invited in and want to stay.”

Dude, you’re in the commodity business of selling cheap flights and Hotels. You’re not Starbucks.

More interesting is this piece of the Press Release:

In researching concepts for the new site, Travelocity conducted a number
of in-person interviews, focus groups and usability tests. Findings indicated
that consumers viewed online travel sites as visually crowded, with too many
offers and features competing for their attention. This caused confusion for
consumers, who were seeking a site they could trust to present them the best
options for their needs.

Bingo. And another comment sparked my interest.

Faster download speeds — the new home page loads almost twice as fast

That can only mean Travelocity went table-less. A quick look at the source code reveals that this is the case. This will definitely improve download times but the homepage doesn’t validate and doesn’t follow web standards or accesibility guidelines either. Too bad, it could have been a small step with more bennefits.

The consequence of tableless design and separating structure from content and style is that things will break in older browsers. Travelocity has the correct approach by offering the content unstyled (Sceenhot [pop-up]). It might not look pretty, but at least the content is accessible. This will become more important when the Internet moves away from traditional browsers and onto mobile devices.

The message Travelocity displays to warn users with these browsers is a bit harsh (screenshot [pop-up]), there are better ways (screenshot [pop-up]) the handle this.

I want make it clear that the largest website I manage doens’t even come close to validating, let alone adhere to web standards or accessibility guidelines. This will change when we’ve completed our redesign later this year.

Comments are closed.