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Musings from Mike Atkinson on Internet strategy, usability, and more...

Expedia gets it

Yesterday I talked about a compelling metaphor from Jared Spool in the introduction to his latest article. That article is titled Preventing Usability Problems from the Get-go.

He talks about the three things that help nip usability problems in the bud. His example is the three big travel websites.

He points out that Travelocity has never really gotten issues of user experience. They still have major problems on their site. But their two competitors do not.

Expedia was a later adopter of user experience. They finally starting getting it and implemented changes based on research. (Similar to my own history.)

“Interestingly, Orbitz was one of those few organizations that started with a usage-centered perspective from the first day. They knew they were moving into a competitive arena and that making a usable experience would give them a competitive advantage. (It’s worked—they grew to more than $200 million in less than 3 years.)”

Of course, Orbitz had the advantage of learning from others mistakes, AND adopting conventions that have slowly become standards over time on the web.

Bottom line: Expedia got it right and realized it’s never too late to improve their users’ experience.

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