My favorite flight comparator is www.cheaptickets.com. It has a consistent interface that does not vary much; also it keeps the same code for airports thus decreasing memory load for frequent users. The fonts are decent and they have an input error handling feature that prevents users from entering inputs in the wrong format. For example when choosing the dates of a flight, a small calendar pops up with all the past dates deactivated to prevent a user from choosing a past date as departure date. Once the user enters his trip specifications, the result shows up in a very structured format. The user gets at the top of the screen a summarized table of the trips, sorted by airline and number of stops and in increasing order of expense. At the middle and lower part, the user gets a detailed version of every information provided in the upper table. In addition, they provide small red alert button that lets the user know of deals that are exclusive in the list of options.


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However, the website also has a few flaws. Although they have a preference adjustment area on the left side, if a user hits the backspace key on his keyboard by accident, there is no feature that keeps the old data. In fact, the user has to start from scratch. Moreover, the result menu line has a red background. When the user sets a travel preference that is unavailable, the error report is red on a white background right next to the result menu. Given the amount of information that is on the page, it is easy to overlook the error because it doesn’t stand out. Also, the website refreshes too quickly. If a user spends more than twenty minutes deciding which option to choose, the server times out and prompts him to reenter his trip details. In addition, this could be a marketing strategy on their parts, but the ads banners that sits at the center of the screen should be incorporated directly in the results or made smaller because it distracts the user from his primary objective. Personally, it takes me a few seconds to refocus on the left side of the screen where I have to input my trip preferences.


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