Dear developers of mobile travel apps- Repent your sins!
I like to think I am not a luddite - but judging by the quality of mobile travel apps out there today, I may have good reason to become one.
I really am sick and tired of seeing poor user experience on mobile services. Most of this is due to the way the process of understanding user requirements is handled.
So here is my list of the seven deadly sins of mobile apps.
1. Input keyboards
This is so chronic - EVERYONE seems to do it. So if the bar is set so low why bother. Huh? Because your customers and users expect better of you.
If the data entry requires numbers and letters then expose a SINGLE numeric and alpha keyboard. It is FAR easier to scroll up and down on the page then to have to get a new screen for swapping numerics and alphas. This is pure laziness by developers.
2. More screens than are necessary
Come on boys and girls - why do I have to do things in five screens that can be done in two.
3. I need to send you a link to confirm that it's really you
What? Are you that stupid that you think it really wasn-t me doing the entry? Clearly you are being bribed by the Telcos to use more data than its worth.
4. Assuming that I am always connected to free data
No - I have to be sparing so please make the connection process easier for me and faster. Assuming that data has no cost. So your bloated app requires globs of data to do simple things. Your laziness costs me money.
5. Incomplete workflow
Yes, things actually do break. Communications break down etc etc. Please accommodate for this as no app on the planet is perfect.
6. Incomplete designs
You were too lazy or rushed to actually finish the job. So I have to wander around trying to get an answer. Then log off and dial into some human. Sheez - I could have done this WAY faster on a web screen.
7. Lack of consistent and intuitive interface
I am appalled. When a large airline has squillions of people working on its mobile app you can tell. Inconsistencies abound and the system is just NOT INTUITIVE. Please make it easier for me. PLEASE!
So, dear, sinners
Please go to your web application and try and actually use it. And then give it to your mother and have her use it. Good luck with that.
If you all addressed these items now you would have much better usage and faster adoption rather than those incredibly high abandonment rates you see. Zombie apps and widow users are there for a reason.
Because essentially you did a poor job. Get the picture?
NB: Evil technology image via Shutterstock.
ITN Award, Best for Airline Reservation Technology
CIO 100 Winner, by IDG Communications
WITovation Editor’s Choice Award
CAPA Innovation of the Year Award