Saturday, 19 May 2012

Atom 21: Reading Itinerary Chart & Tickets

Its been common that I stumble across people who book wrong tickets basically due to time,date and month misrepresentation or misunderstanding. Booking at one end of the thread, wherein reading the booked information is at the other end.

The error fall under this scenario -
1. Booking wrong tickets due to confusion of month/date notation due to International standards
2. Booking wrong tickets due to confusion over time notation (12H/24H confusion) - Bigger in the lot
3. Reading it wrongly and ending up to depart in the station earlier or later
4. Above all, if all these cases were not part of the individual or routine - cautious approach in understanding and reading the information is become critical - that increases cognitive load and counter-check to trust one's belief.

The real problem of major error is the missing piece of understanding how user look to information in day-to-day life.

1. Can we get a standard way of representation of month/date amidst the International standards, say the month "May" is mentioned to avoid any number representation. So the month is taken out of the picture. But sometimes, there needs a cautious approach in refreshing the mind! If we do mention - "1 month's time from the current date" or "15 days to date of travel" or "Your booking 2 weeks ahead" or "Your plans to leave this weekend" -as all these start to put the user in a frame and support his sequence of thought process. The user always relates terms like my travel is scheduled in "1 week" or "this weekend" or "next weekend" or "in a month's time" or "more than a month's time", as may be found in their daily conversation.
This largely address the booking approach and the critical cognition involved. Agreed, still you need to cross-refer the booking dates to the "daily conversation statements", but the idea is we are getting closer to the user and aiding largely.

2. Next, looking at reading the piece of information is another critical cognitive load, as reading 12H/24 H connotations are pretty confusing! Reason - We are used much to thinking in 12H formats, rarely 24H in everyday life. Alright, I think we can start using "daily conversation statements" formula to map which-ever format it is in. The itinerary chart should read "Morning of May 25 - 9.45" rather 9.45 AM or 0945 (vs 2145). Let the user be trusted with a statement that can support the thinking process - more like "After your breakfast @ 9.45", "Wake early to catch @ 9.45", "Zombie zone @ 2.30", "Miss your sleep on May 25 for 2.30 flight" (intriguing or engaging statements).

3. All these also could be ably supported by Visual connotations and mapping it for easier understanding. This would be a exercise on to structure the Information design through visualization methods.

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