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Heuristic Evaluation of Expedia App

Based on Jakob Nielsen’s “10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design”, I decided to evaluate one of the top travel organizations: Expedia. I have booked through Expedia before, mostly because of its great deals and easy-to-use system. However, I haven’t booked through the app (iOS) before, so I wanted to give it a try and see if it is easier than the desktop.

 

I love traveling, but I’m a lazy organizer. So, I typically opt for Expedia because they bundle flight and hotel (so, they handle all the arrangements for me). For this project, I am going to book a flight from LAX to SEA (Seattle) for spring break.

Visibility of system status

  • While searching for my bundle flights, they had a great loading bar that says “Searching hotels”, with moving stripes on the bar. It took less than a minute for the app to produce results for both hotel and flights.7c6ba9ea

Match between system and the real world

  • Very simple terms for even beginning travelers including “outbound and inbound flights”, noted that the “Bundle total: includes hotel and flight”
  • Hotel and flight icons were easy to recognize and understand (esp. Inbound flights with airplane going towards the right (away), and Outbound flights going to left (back)).

User control and freedom

  • Expedia had an interesting tactic when selecting dates to fly. I could “Drag to modify” my dates directly on the app. I can always rearrange the dates by dragging them around to undo any changes.
  • I was able to filter my results by: Recommended, Price, Discounts, and Rating. Perhaps Expedia considered these to be the best/top options that users look for. However, my main priority is the Location (and this was not an option for the filter). Perhaps the app can use features that can filter through Price and Location (as it does on the desktop website).
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Consistency and standards

  • Color, format and picture layout were pretty standard. I knew that by clicking on a hotel I will see the picture of the hotel, it will show the hotel’s features, ratings, reviews, and bedroom options.
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Error prevention

  • After selecting the hotel and flight options, the app pulls up my final bundle selections in a neat layout. Showing the dates, times, room, guest count, etc. It also gives the option to “Change” the information on my flights and/or hotel. This is a good confirmation layout before the user can commit to the action (buy the bundle).
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Recognition rather than recall

  • The app utilized its database and cookies of the user by remembering my previous selections. I exited the app and tried to book a bundle again and it showed the option of selecting Los Angeles and Seattle.
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Flexibility and efficiency of use

  • By simplifying the menu bar, Expedia app showed great flexibility and efficiency of use. As I strolled down to view other options from the homepage, the menu bar shorted its size to provide more room for the main ideas (inspiration and member pricing).

Aesthetic and minimalist design

  • The clean gray background and white bars are nice and appealing. The white bars help to indicate that these are viable options to click on, view more info, etc.

Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors

  • After clicking the “Checkout” button, I noticed a red “Enter missing traveler details”, and this was a bright red flag for me to recognize the problem, and quickly click on the bar or > and update the travel information.
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Help and documentation

  • The  “i” icon indicates that there is more information in the bundle and can help the user with any other concerns it may have. Hopefully the information can address problems.
  • It would be great to have a feature where the user can chat with a personal travel agent (which the desktop format already has). This can help address any other concerns the user may have and feel confident that their booking is complete.

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