It’s coming down to the end of summer and I am looking to go on a trip to San Francisco, California to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants play a three game series in AT&T Park.
To pass the time on the train I decided to do impromptu research. Hoping that if I find a good deal on a flight, I can book it on my laptop when I get home.
With California on my mind, this type of search got me thinking about last week’s post mobile considerations to engage end-users. With 48% of mobile research starting via search I decided it was the perfect opportunity to really see if simplicity, speed, and understanding functionality would be an effective research method on mobile.
For this search, I went through each step of my journey on my iPhone 5C. Using the ‘Google’ application, I kicked off my search by typing “flights to San Francisco”.
Right off the bat, when started typing Google’s autocomplete functionality was able to determine my location and suggested ‘flights to San Francisco from Boston” as the first result. From my perspective, this location-based search term beat out the other suggested terms hands down, thinking in the back of my mind that I hope this saves me an extra step.
With a strong query in mind I press ‘Search’ and I am taken to a ‘Google Maps’ like interface that shows me an incredible amount of information. ‘Boston’ is already set as my city of departure and ‘San Francisco’ is set as my destination. By taking my information from the search result ‘flights to San Francisco from Boston”, Google was able to pre-populate my information in the ‘To’ and ‘From’ form fields, saving me the extra step I was hoping for.
Processing each piece of information top-to-bottom, my eyes then moved to two dates below ‘San Francisco, CA (SFO). There is no label clarifying what these forms. Instead, Google’s design team made the conscious decision to use the ‘calendar’ icon as the mechanism for users to understand what action needed to be taken in this section.
As a mobile user, getting the most accurate information is incredibly important. By entering the dates of my potential trip, I was able to receive accurate results about what airlines have the best deals. I am not distracted by additional content. There is more room to display results from the airlines, which is what I care about most. The simplicity in this layout is exactly what I need when researching on mobile.
As the train pulled into the next stop, I clicked on the calendar dates and a calendar pop-us. This interaction is very smooth to cycle through the months as I select “September 27” as my depart date. I select “October 3” at my return date (The 3 game series between the Giants and Dodgers will be incredible to watch live).
With all the essential information filled out, the interface then updated the ‘Non-Stop flights’ and ‘Connecting flights’ sections seamlessly. I am able to see multiple airlines offering flights sorted by price. For doing research on mobile, I was presented with incredibly relevant information fast and it required minimal effort from me. Now I can take this information from my mobile device and finalize my trip on my desktop.
When thinking about your mobile strategy, be reminded of this use case and the top three takeaways: