Analyzing Good and Bad Design

To begin the first task of the first week’s project in my UX Academy course, I need to look at websites and apps to analyze. Then give subjective responses and recognize good and bad designs. I’ve chosen to analyze apps and websites that I’ve been using or have used for years whenever I travel. These products are used by many people whether they travel frequently or not. Traveling can be very stressful and having to use the right online services in planning the trip can save a lot of troubles and vice versa. With the many tools out there, I think it’s important to recognize which ones work well for us and which ones do not.

Google Translate APP

A Google app that lets you easily translate words, phrases, images, voice recordings, and doodles/handwritings between English and over 100 languages.

Ever since I moved to South Korea almost 2 years ago, this app has been my holy grail in communicating with the locals and getting around the new foreign country. This makes it very important for the interface to be very user friendly and easily navigated for frequent use. I think Google has done a great job in doing just that and developed this app with the user in mind. The landing page is very clean and upfront with the items we can choose from. The languages selected are at the top of the pages and the rest of the buttons are presented with recognizable icons to avoid clutter. The colors complement each other and it’s not harsh on the eyes, especially important if users regularly uses this app.

Although the texts are small, they are still readable and their weight and colors are not too light or heavy to be jarring. Not only does it help in daily use but also for longer periods of time. The real time translation while typing is certainly a bonus and more helpful than a distraction. Overall, this app is designed minimally for a friendly interface and straightforward with its services.

Kiwi.com APP

Flight search for any destinations around the world.

I’ve used a number of flight scanners for years and Kiwi.com has been my number one choice not only in finding the best flight deals but also because of their incredibly easy and aesthetically designed interface. The first page, we’re greeted with the main focal interest “What’s your destination?” in big and readable font. Although it was unnecessary, they did well in incorporating a vector image in the background of the search bar by desaturating it and adding a turquoise overlay. This made it not distracting and does not take anything away from our purpose.

When we open the app the most dominant item is the search bar then the bright yellow highlighting the current prices in the recent searches and the cheapest flights. This makes our eyes follow the path they want us to follow very easily. I also like the items under Recent and Cheapest flights as a sideway scrolling instead of up and down. It keeps me in the main page to access the search bar at anytime.

On the search result page the navigation dominates half of the page with the results organized by the default “Recommended” category. It looks a little busy at first glance but after recognizing all the displayed information, it becomes easier to follow to focus on the most important item, which is the price. To find out more information, select the desired item and the item expands instead of taking me to another page. This makes it faster to go through multiple results in a just few clicks .

Kiwi gives out a friendly vibe and the simple navigation and easy access to the most important items makes this app very handy.

Airbnb

Booking homes for vacations.

I give it less than 5 seconds in the Airbnb’s website to begin typing away and searching for my the next vacation rental. The front page is inviting and clearly states their brand. The navigation is a breeze and results come in a flash.

I think the very light, unbolded, and limited navigations really help with the aesthetics of the page. We’re not distracted by any “deals” or overwhelming “reviews” upfront. This makes it a really pleasant experience and can easily spend hours looking for the perfect place to stay during a vacation. When looking at the search results, Airbnb has successfully established dominance by making the images of the rooms big and clear (Did you know that Airbnb also offers free room photography for hosts to follow Airbnb’s brightly colored theme?) Then our eyes move under the image and can easily read the bolded price with the title, a quick description, and reviews represented filled stars. These information is all we need in finding the right place to stay. This flow is so smooth and provides a non-stressful experience.

Booking.com

Hotel bookings around the world.

Although Booking.com provide great hotel and hostel deals and might save us money, just landing on the front page makes it undesirable to navigate the website. The page is crowded and overly highlighted. I cannot focus on anything without being distracted by something else. The word “deals” appears multiple times in different areas of the page and even though the search bar is emphasised in a bright yellow color, the rest of the page is distracting with various font weight and sizes and large images.

In the search result it is even more hectic. There are multiple colors all drawing attention towards them. A fourth of the top page is packed with unnecessary information. Each hotel result is contained in large rectangular block that takes up the rest of the page, with a small image of the room or hotel on the left. The page results is so chaotic, even beautiful cover image of the hotel is drowned from all the overwhelming colors, texts, and terrible placement of excessive informations. There are a total of six different ratings in the page with five different colors highlighting almost all the same thing. This website is horribly designed and definitely gives me a headache navigating it.

Zicasso

Travel agent that helps you customize your trip.

Zicasso advertise luxury tours and unforgettable trips, however their website design is far from luxurious. The color combinations are dark that does not portray luxury and conflicts with each other. Their call to actions are awkwardly placed and off-centered on the cover photo, although I see their means of placing it on a solid background of the photo. Overall the color choices are poorly chosen and does not compliment each other. The hovered navigations are misaligned and the information page is not well organized. The reviews and other places viewed category are placed in almost priority instead of the trip chosen itself. Would not think this website is for luxurious tours and might have a terrible experience from the start.

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