I’ve done goofed by koreanair.com

The other day I tried to buy a ticket on koreanair.com. I had to try 31 times to achieve the transaction.

Here are the ordeal I encountered.

E.T. go home

First of all : the Home page. Or should I say : one of the numerous home pages. There are so many ! Home page when you are logged, home page to select your country (which should be automatically detected, come on in 2010 !), home page in Korean when you encounter an error ! Great.

You must put one and only one page in you site you Korean Air people. And please, don’t use 2 home pages with just 2 pixels and a combo of difference.

Don’t follow the link, it’s broken

Maybe you would say : “OK, I’ll copy/paste the url and try to put it in Internet Explorer or Firefox or Safari or Chrome or Opera.” Fail ! Copy/paste does not give you a valid URL. It seems to be randomly generated to put you back on the one of the home pages.

Hey ! This text is an image !

Some buttons and some texts are images ! So if they are not translated from Korean, you have a chance it stays in korean even if the page is in english. Texts are horrible but it seems like korean websites use them an awful lot to create pixel-precise pages. Go away you semantic web, we don’t need you !

Unstable environment

One of the thing you don’t want to happen when your are manipulating real plane tickets with real money is server errors. This is what happens. Is my money transfered ? Are my tickets issued . No way to say because :

We don’t need no feedback

This is true, I don’t like to know if my transaction worked, if my credit card number if securely transmitted. I don’t care ! I prefer pink heart floating away.

I’m a little harsh with them : there are informations. Many, many informations. But not the one I need !

Fake-support-girl

At the end of a lost request please meet Useless-Support-Girl. She will be very pleased to tell you the phone number you cannot call to have no information.

Back to the future

If you try to print the source code of some pages, you will see code comment dated of 2002. Wow, was it HTML 1 or HTML 1.8 at the time ? Don’t look for AJAX. This little snobbish way of doing so-called modern-pages. It’s outdated in 2002. Or at least, not invented yet maybe.

Frames and tables

Yes, here they are. Many of them. Frames to avoid loading pages and tables to put stuff in rows. Yes, because CSS is so modern. It won’t be compatible.

Pop it up !

One great things about browser is ad blocking extensions and serial popups blocker. Koreanair.com uses popups to inform you about crucial stuff. Bummer. Please turn off this horrible feature. And you will be able to nearly try to maybe buy a ticket. Otherwise “ya dun goof‘d” man.

IE is the root of evil

You know what ? Internet Explorer is maybe the only browser used in Korea. Google Chrome ? Firefox ? What’t that ? We don’t need it. Our code is IE 4.3 fully compatible.

Conclusion

Thinking like a technology engineer (juste being IE compatible in 2002) makes bad UX.

Not thinking about the technology (putting great graphics but with no code evolution perspective) makes bad UX too.

You’ve got to consider both. Put a designer and a programmer in your team. Make them work together. Not one after the other.

Korean air is not really a nightmare of graphism and color, but truly of experience. Things seems right at a glance. But when you click and use it seriously it’s just impossible.

And you know what ? I tried to buy a tickets to it’s competitor Asiana. Same problem ! Do you believe it ?

Author: Jean-Baptiste Rieu

Ingénieur logiciel, passé du litteraire au scientifique. Toujours curieux, passionné d'IHM, de visualisation et d'experience utilisateur. Chercheur en méthodes pour développer la créativité. Amoureux de la Corée, pays de mon épouse. Diplômé de l'Institut de Formation d'Ingénieur de Paris-Sud XI (IFIPS).