Web guru Jakob Nielsen says travel sites only ‘above average’

The world’s foremost figure in online user experience has said usability on travel websites is “above average” at best compared to other sectors.

Speaking exclusively to Travolution this week, Jakob Nielsen – one of the academic pioneers of website user experience since the web’s creation – said travel sites on the whole had so far failed to address the issues of “complication” of product.

“There is a lot of complexity involved in travel which is difficult to manage from a user perspective,” he said.

Although financial services sites were generally performing better than travel From a user experience perspective, Nielsen said other sectors such as government and B2B lag even further behind.

Nielsen admitted making the complex data associated with travel available on the web had been a “significant breakthrough” but suggested much more could be done to meet the needs of online travel consumers.

“More needs to be done to offer alternative scenarios to users,” he said. “They want to see what is the fundamental difference between rooms and fares, for example.”

Nielsen admitted travel sites had “improved enormously and were moving in the right direction” amid difficulties over implementation of technology but problems with reproduction of detailed content to assist the user remained.

Nielsen rose to fame in the 1990s after spending a period of his career at Sun Microsystems, penning a series of papers on user experience

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