What is wrong with the interfaces of air services and how to fix it: Aviageek project approach
Traveling has become easier: until recently, only professional agencies could access the schedule of world flights, and now anyone can find tickets to anywhere in the world in a couple of clicks.
The interfaces of air services have become familiar and have not changed much for five years now: just enter information about the cities of departure and arrival, travel dates and select from the table the most suitable offers for booking.
This scheme, of course, has proved its viability, however, and it is not without drawbacks. We tried to correct the situation in the Aviageek project .
Familiar air services look like a strange pizzeria. The menu of such an institution consists of thousands of options, compiled by mechanical combination of ingredients. Dorblu cheese is used in pizza No. 585, feta in cheese No. 586, and mozzarella in cheese No. 587. And so, until No. 12,432.
In fact, visitors don’t need such a choice at all - it’s much easier for them to indicate the desired ingredients than to delve into the list of all possible options (but with the right to choose the cheapest or fastest pizza in the making).
Similarly, the traditional (tabular) issue of found flights consists of tens, hundreds, and sometimes even thousands of combinations of flight parameters that are alike, and the user has to spend a lot of effort analyzing them.
To understand that two neighboring tickets differ only in a tiny five-minute difference in departure time, a potential passenger must compare all conditions with each other, each with each.
At the same time, no one will provide him with a convenient and easy way to choose a city for a transfer, fix the desired departure time or take into account weather conditions when planning a flight.
How to fix it
The process of searching for tickets can be made more visual and greatly simplified, but for this you need to rethink the familiar interface of air services. We took such a path in our Aviageek new generation airline ticket aggregator project.
We decided to let users choose their flight settings on their own, like pizza ingredients.
Using a simple graphical interface, a potential passenger can, for example, indicate that he prefers to fly from Moscow Vnukovo Airport, or request a “long” connection in Amsterdam to spend half a day in the city at the price of a regular ticket. Another example is the search for a cheap morning flight with arrival in Beijing no later than at 12:00 local time with a transfer in Istanbul.
Here is the first prototype of the service:
The user can select the “ingredients” of the flight by clicking on the possible options and fix the parameters they like by clicking on the “lock” icon.
Such an organization is convenient in cases where it is necessary, for example, to get to a particular airport or transfer to Madrid. In this case, the service will offer only those departures that take these requirements into account.
In the city of transplantation, you can choose the length of stay - suddenly the traveler wants to spend several hours in Florence, or vice versa, immediately fly to the final destination.
Current status and plans
At the moment, Aviagik is in test mode, and access to the service is by invitation. Habrapolzovateli can get to the site by driving promo code HA9HCIN page www.aviageek.com .
The project is written in Ruby on Rails (backend), on the front-end - Backbone.js, jQuery, Slim. PostgreSQL is used as the database (we agree that relational DBMSs are well suited for startups ) - a more detailed story about the project infrastructure will be presented in the following topics in the very near future.
At the moment, the search for air tickets is carried out through our partners, who have direct contracts with GDS and airlines - this is a temporary solution for the testing period, in the future all new suppliers will be connected, which will allow finding the most advantageous offers on the market.
That's all for today, we will be happy to answer questions and listen to suggestions or comments on the operation of the test version of the service in the comments.
Thanks for attention!