Product Review: Cebu Pacific Air: Part 1- Visiting the website
This is a series of posts about evaluating my experience booking through Cebu Pacific Air website.
I decided to make it a series because of my inspiration of agile product development- Delivering small useful chunks and continuous iteration.
Part 5- TBD
I have been traveling frequently and I have been booking flights from different airlines online. But most the time I use Cebu Pacific.
I thought to myself why won’t I write about it? Hence, this is about my experience and thoughts on booking flights using cebupacificair.com
For the uninitiated, Cebu Pacific Inc. is a Philippine airline company and Cebu Pacific Air is the name of their booking website. Cebu Pacific is known for its low fares, seat sales and numerous destinations. I can assume it is a highly used website. In their Facebook page and Twitter they have 3 million plus followers.
For this case, I will be focusing on the user experience and some hints on product built and quality. I won’t do extensive probing rather a spot check here and there.
The information gathered was during June to July 2017 time frame. I acknowledge that there might be changes presently that may affect this writing.
The task is to book a roundtrip flight so the booking process will be:
The Precondition: User has a destination in mind.
- Visiting the website.
- Finding a flight.
- Selecting a flight.
- Input guest details.
- Select add-ons.
- Pay for a flight.
- Confirming a flight.
Step 1- Visiting the Website
I will start with the name- Cebu Pacific Air.
My initial thoughts were- Filipino and Asian. It sounds like a good name but but when using it, it gets confusing.
Most Filipinos recognize Cebu Pacific Air as Cebu Pacific or Cebupac so it would make sense for them to use cebupacific.com or cebupac.com when typing on the web browser. But when using these addresses on the web browser, it does not take you to the Cebu Pacific Airline website. It takes you to this web page instead.
I have committed this mistake several times so I usually google first to make sure. I find this inconvenient because I just want to go to the website right away!
I would suggest to revisit brand names and categorizing them. Like separating the corporate website from the consumer website for usability.
Possible names could be cebupacific.app or cebupacific.corporate. Personally, I prefer just cebupacific.com then adding sub addresses to it.
Now let’s look at the Home Page.
I launched my web browser and typed on the address bar cebupacificair.com then the homepage displayed. It loaded around 5–6 seconds on average. That wasn’t as quick as I hoped to be but it was acceptable. I wished though it would be under 3 seconds.
I know this metric can be subjective but looking at more than 90 requests is a lot. That’s like sending 90 text messages and waiting for a 90 replies in 5 seconds.
For further web page loading test- https://www.webpagetest.org
Performance affects users and conversions per https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/page-load-time-conversion-rates
Looking at the UI design. I found it appealing enough. It has that modern, fun and formal feel.
I liked the following:
- Branding is apparent.
- Colors and fonts are consistent.
- Less clutter.
- Less distracting features.
- Less ads.
- Sections have hierarchy- focusing on the find flights feature.
- Supports internationalization. I am not sure how accurate the languages are since I only know English and Filipino. I acknowledge effort nonetheless.
- I also got surprised by the recent searches feature. I wasn’t expecting that.
The only thing that needs improvement on the UI are the individual elements. I think it needs more contrast to be more visible and readable. Like the copy and the find flights feature.
Overall, I think simplifying it more would certainly make a difference not only in the UI but also the performance. There are many elements and processes going on here and there. I am sure not every element is used significantly and that’s worth looking into.
For the next post, it will be about finding a flight. Stay tuned for part 2.
Soundtrack of the moment: Tiesto- On My Way
What do you guys think? I love to know your thoughts. Kindly like, share or comment below.