Heuristic Evaluation of Skyscanner App

I decided to evaluate the Skyscanner app based on Jakob Neilson’s 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design. For those of you who don’t know, Skyscanner is a global search engine that compares flights, hotels and car hire using several providers. However, for this exercise I will solely focus on flights. I love to travel and have always turned to their website for booking flights.

Flight plan: Vancouver to Rio de Janeiro (my dream holiday!) 

1. Visibility of system status

a. There was a circle icon moving around, showing that app was searching for the best flights based on my search criteria. It didn’t take very long to produce the search results.

2. Match between system and real world

a. Easy language to understand, using common and attractive words such as “cheapest.”

b. Also, the icons were easy to recognise, for instance when I was picking my passenger information they broke each type of passenger down into different icons.

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3. User control and freedom

a. I am not sure if this would be under user control and freedom, but when I clicked on my departure date it gave me the option to pick both departure and return. I found this difficult, as the function was not really clear. If I touched the blue arrows, they wouldn’t move to the date I wanted. If I clicked on the departure section and it showed me the calendar, it would have been easier to pick my return using the top date bar instead.

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b. There is always a way to undo a search, with a back arrow button or an X sign.

4. Recognition rather than recall

a. I didn’t have to remember the dates I originally inputted because everything I wanted was available at the top of the section, including my desired destination. I was also allowed to easily change my dates with the back arrow button.

5. Aesthetic and minimalist design

a. When I inputted my destination, it turned to this page where it gave me options for dates, number of passengers and type of trip (return or one-way). Easy to read and decipher, when I touched the dates a calendar popped up. This is great because I get a better idea of the days I wanted to travel. And the background picture of the page is of Rio, showing me that it understands my destination.

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b. When I came to the flight options page, it was simple to read with the white background and minimal use of colors. Red font color indicated number of stops, which is always important when deciding your optimal route. Green indicated cheapest option, which is also a significant factor to include.

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Overall the app was simple to use, especially since I was not obligated to make an account. I am always put off with apps that force me to open an account because it takes time away from using the app.

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