Check out USA Today‘s in-the-wild review of four air travel focused apps:
AirportZoom by FlightStats
•Pros: Comprehensive information on flights, including scheduled aircraft type, codeshares, on-time performance ratings. Nice graphics.
•Cons: Amount of information can seem overwhelming at times. Flight tracking on map not as attractive as with FlightTrack Free.
If AirportZoom was trying to catch the aviation-buff crowd they probably did pretty well. But if they wanted to be popular with the everyday traveler – who typically just wants to track a flight – they might have gotten unnecessarily sidetracked. Be careful of feature creep, it can overwhelm end users.
FlightTrack Free by Mobiata
•Pros: It’s a beautiful app, elegant in its simplicity, as a plane appears in motion, progressing toward its arrival airport.
•Cons: In its mission to keep it simple, app is less comprehensive and lacks information on airport amenities.
A beautiful UI, but did they sacrifice some important features that users want for the sake of looks? If users just want to track a flight this app might be perfect. If they also want airport information, they’ll probably look for a replacement app that does it all.
•Pros: The new Where’s My Plane feature that shows an aircraft’s previous flights and on-time performance over the past two days is a nice wrinkle.
•Cons: The app seems fairly bland in its appearance and lacks interactivity.
It gets the job done and offers some information that makes it stand apart from other travel apps, but did they pay too little attention to the UI? Consumers like function, but they want that function to be pretty too.
•Pros: Great tool for at-the-airport experience, with detailed look at amenities near gate.
•Cons: Flight tracking seems almost an afterthought, given GateGuru’s focus on the airport amenity information. Some user reviews are very old, and not particularly illuminating.
This app almost seems like more of an in-airport app rather than a travel tracker. It could be useful, but having well integrated flight tracking alongside the near gate information could make this app unbeatable.
This is where in-the-wild testing can come in handy. Not only does your app get tested under real world conditions, but if you choose the right testing team you’ll get real end user feedback that can help you avoid some crucial mistakes and make sure you give users exactly what they’re looking for.