My pick is the blog of Dustin Curtis, a user interface designer. Specifically, Article 8 (Dear American Airlines) and Article 9 (Dear Dustin Curtis), which you can find in his blog index. Dustin Curtis wrote to American Airlines:
"I’m a user interface designer. I travel sometimes. Recently, I had the horrific displeasure of booking a flight on your website, aa.com. The experience was so bad that I vowed never to fly your airline again. But before we part ways, I have a couple questions and three suggestions for you."
His 3 suggestions?
- Treat this as a serious emergency across your entire company.
- Fire your entire design team, if you have one.
- Follow the lead of new, young, and innovative airlines like JetBlue and Virgin America. They know how to harness repeat business through excellent customer experience.
Curtis then went ahead and actually created a proposed redesign of the AA site. But then,
"A user experience architect who works on AA.com sent me a response to my letter. He titled it ' You’re right. You’re so very right. And yet...'”
The response gives some really good insight into the process that large corporations use when creating something so seemingly simple as a web page. It turns out there are some 200 people who together determine just what you see at AA.com!
"The group running AA.com consists of at least 200 people spread out amongst many different groups, including, for example, QA, product planning, business analysis, code development, site operations, project planning, and user experience. We have a lot of people touching the site, and a lot more with their own vested interests in how the site presents its content and functionality. Fortunately, much of the public-facing functionality is funneled through UX, so any new features you see on the site should have been vetted through and designed by us before going public."
It all makes for very interesting reading and provides insights into why it is difficult for some companies to be responsive to customer needs at anything faster than glacial speed.