Virgin America flying full speed ahead

For those that haven’t tried it yet, have a go at Virgin America’s new site. It’s a mini-revolution in web design. Why? It does what no other travel site has dared to do: focus the customer on the task at hand,  leaving out all the other information customers “might” want to use.

How does it work?

The site visually guides the customer through the booking process step by step. (This takes a page from kiosk design, as in Cnote’s design of the self-service kiosks at Schiphol & Charles de Gaulle for AirFrance-KLM). Virgin America’s calendar, for example, uses a full-screen, tiled calendar, with large app-like buttons that work well on any screen size, instead of the traditional “widget” design.

What a “before & after”. And pretty amazing that a big corporation dares to “let go” of everything else on the page.

It’s also smart in what it displays – showing locations you might be flying to based on your history & location. We especially like that it gives feedback with a human touch.  The dialogue bar at top interacts with the customer alternately complimenting, reassuring or confirming what the customer is doing.  Clever remarks about a customer’s choice prompt a smile, but also confirm to the customer what has happened.

After every step, the site gives a personal reaction to the choices you have made

Read more about the interface in the recent Fast Company article, with an interveiw with Virgin America’s creative director Jesse McMillin.