Monday, April 14, 2014

The UX Detective Episode One: Westjet

A few weeks ago your humble sleuth received an email from Westjet with an exclusive code for Westjet Rewards members:

First I visited the main Westjet site and checked out some flight options:

Then, because I had some Westjet dollars in the bank, I went to the Westjet Rewards booking site:

Do you see my error? It took me at least two minutes to figure out the problem. I now realize I was relying on visual cues to guide me. 

The email provided a visual cue (short code first, long code second).

The main website follows the email format of short code first, long code second. (It also has sample codes to help guide people.)

The Westjet Rewards booking page uses a short and long box.

That’s why I assumed the Westjet Rewards page followed the same format as the email and the main website. But if you look carefully, you can see that they’ve reversed the code order. Which was very confusing to me, especially given the visual cues of the short and long boxes.

In the end I got my flight. But the lesson is: if you’re going to train your customers to use your site, make your UX consistent. Otherwise they’ll think your site was designed by Moriarty himself.