Wingz – Airport Rides and One Bad UI Issue

I’ve been using Wingz to get to/from the airport. The idea is simple, black car service like Uber but exclusively for airport transportation, and a big advantage is that you can schedule the rides in advance. With a web-based and mobile app, it’s alway available and convenient.

Wingz is aggressively priced, about 40% less expensive than a typical black car service, and so far my experience with the drivers has been exceptional. With the price of long term parking at SFO now $18 a day, paying $82 for airport transportation for my typical 3-4 day trip is a wash and because it’s door to door I save time. The convenience on the latter point is not insignificant, I take a 5:55am flight to Denver and come back on a late flight, the last thing I want is building in extra time for the parking structure shuttle.

wingzHowever, not all is well with Wingz, one specific UI issue is horribly ill-conceived and it bit me the last time I booked a ride. The scheduling app departs from the typical pick-a-date/time and the am/pm radio button. I noticed this the first time I used the web-based app and thought to double check to make sure I scheduled the right time. However, despite double-checking each time I booked, I managed to schedule a 4:30pm ride when I needed a 4:30am pickup… which left me scrambling when I realized what I did when I was standing in my driveway at 4:35am a few weeks ago.

In my conversations with the driver who normally takes me, I asked her about this and she said I was not alone. I sent an email to the company with feedback but did not hear anything back. I still like the service.

UPDATE: Well I just love it when companies pay attention to feedback and actually do something about it. Wingz changed the UI and they deserve credit for doing it. Thank you!

wingz

Bad UI – Shoppybag

UPDATE: I thought about this a little more this morning… in the first dialog box they say they won’t contact any of my google contacts without my permission but in the second dialog box (captured below) the implication is that I am giving them permission to do so. If my interpretation is correct then the UI goes from simply being poorly designed to purposefully misleading.

I finally got tagged in enough photos on Shoppybag to give it a try… here’s the problem, their user experience leaves so many unanswered questions that I simply gave up.

The signup process is pretty straightforward until the 2nd step and it is an entirely self inflicted wound. I fought back my initial hesitance about connecting my Google account contacts to the service but this 2nd step is so poorly presented that I abandoned the process. Nowhere on the UI is there any explanation of what they mean by “connect with friends” and this comes despite a note on the first dialog box that they would not contact anyone without my permission. So if they are not going to contact anyone what is meant by “connect with friends”.

They have clearly mined my Google contacts list and I gave them permission to do that but I simply don’t know what they are going to do when I click “connect” therefore I won’t do it. This is a great example of how poor UI decisions drive new user abandonment in applications that depend on access to a social graph. It’s a leap of faith to give anyone access to my contacts, it is essential that at every step in the process the UI reinforces my confidence that I won’t regret doing so.

UI Best Practices

I have a request for anyone that designs user interfaces. When you have a page that contains a function to be performed against a page that has a potentially large amount of content, please include the function buttons at the top AND the bottom of the page.

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Scrolling through 841 items to get to the “bulk moderate” button is a perfect example of why this small change results in a big improvement.