Last night my friends, I failed. I had to book a flight and the only airline that flies the route I wanted, is Ryanair.
Last time I booked with them I vowed never to go through the experience again. But as must be the case with thousands of others I had no option. May the gods of UX look down upon me with pity.
If ever there was a site which was created to evoke the most vitriol from its users it was Ryanair. Meeting the business objectives of a company and maximising profits is one thing, but Ryanair take this mantra to a whole other level.
The booking process is designed to attempt to wrong foot users at every step by forcing them to accept additional chargeable items. You have to work very hard to avoid falling into the many traps. And when you do manage to deselect travel insurance or, priority booking, or text alerts etc your route is blocked by grave warnings of the dire consequences of your actions. It takes a brave soul to stand up to the barrage of objections and to hold your nerve. Many a user will fall into the various boobytraps.
To add insult to injury when you do finally reach then end you are charged £6 credit card handling charge for every ticket you buy.
As I went through the process the stress levels rose, the shouting and swearing at the screen increased and the enter key was pounded harder and harder. I went to bed in a furious mood. In the morning I was still cross and sought out the "Ryanair are complete b**tards" support group. In my searching I came across this design exercise.
Now even if this is not perfect, many simple UX improvements would help change people's perspective of the brand. I cannot be alone in finding the whole booking process an insult and a shock to my belief that on the whole the internet is a force for good.
Ah well at least I have the flight to look forward to....