The airline industry is pretty much the worst offender in terms of being amenable to change, hence the large user experience holes filled by market distruptors like Virgin America, JetBlue, and Southwest. Aside from cloning Richard Branson or crossing your fingers in hopes that skunkworks will change things internally, what’s an old school airline executive to do?
Part of the answer lies in paying attention to user suggestions, especially if they’re as elaborate as former Vimeo and College Humor founder and current Boxee CPO Zach Klein’s “one hour rethinking” of the Delta SkyClub complimentary wifi portal, a visualization he created and posted to Flickr while waiting for a flight out of Salt Lake City this morning (which probably should make the rest of us rethink how productively we use our commute times).
As any traveler has seen, the landing pages for these hotel and airline wifi portals are usually irrelevant filler, hence the beauty in Klein’s reimagining; Why not fill them with useful personal information like the weather at your destination, your flight boarding time, upcoming travel and even geek stuff like the history of the airplane you’ll be traveling on, creating “a fairly simple page that is dramatically more valuable”? In case anyone was confused on how to serve up this info, Klein goes even further: “My idea is to require your frequent flyer mile number in order to access free WIFI (almost everyone in a lounge has a number) and perhaps even use my Delta.com cookie to autofill it.”
We’ve seen unsolicited reimaginings of user interface design before, most notably UX Designer Dustin Curtis’ open letter to American Airlines about their homepage design, which received a “you are absolutely right” response from an anonymous American UX architect. While Delta hasn’t responded to Klein yet, I’m pretty sure another “you are absolutely right” is warranted here.
Photo: Zach Klein/Flickr
Boxee is a partially open-source freeware media player software platform that integrates personal locally stored media with Internet streaming media along with social networking features. Boxee’s social networking component allows users to share information about what they are watching or listening to with other boxee users or friends on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, etc. Since it is partially open source, users can create their own apps, plug-ins, and skins for it. The framework for Boxee is based on source...
Zach Klein is co-founder and CEO of DIY. He was a partner and led product design at Connected Ventures, the creators of CollegeHumor. In 2006, he and his partners sold a major stake of Connected Ventures to IAC. Zach is best known for co-founding and designing Vimeo, a popular video-sharing community emphasizing authenticity and quality. Time Magazine named Vimeo one of the web’s Top 50 sites. He led product at Boxee, an open-source interface for televisions making it easy to watch shows,...