Airline Booking Websites Interaction Design Principles Information Technology Essay

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According to Copeland and McKenney (1988) in 1940's the airline reservation booking is done at terminal or through telephone which is recorded manually and in 1950's mainframe computers are used to alter airline reservations by providing updates periodically. They also stated, during post World War II era there is a rapid increase in flight demand which lead in deterioration of both customer services and resource utilization which may affect the airline operations in processing large volumes of information. In 1960's, American and United Airlines realized that processing of information is a critical success factor for airline industry and started developing electronic systems which lead to further development of Computerized reservation systems(CRS) for processing reservations (Copeland and McKenney ,1988).

After the development of CRS the market segmentation was changed and new market structures like airline travel agents emerged where the major reservation function was moved from airlines to travel agents (Sheila Sherlock and William G.Chismar, 2006). Travel agents became information intermediaries between organizations whose primary role was collecting and transmitting data for other organizations, for which they receive percentage from the cost of the ticket from the airlines. The market dictated that the systems begin to interoperate, at least to the point of showing competitor's routes and fares (Sheila Sherlock and William G.Chismar, 2006). The American Airlines system, SABRE, was the first to handle and display information about other airline flights (Copeland and McKenney, 1988).

The evolution of internet made a significant change in computerized reservation system of airline industry such as airline websites (i.e. Air India), websites operated jointly by airlines (i.e. Momondo), online travel agents (i.e. Travelocity) and traditional travel agents websites. At present all computerized reservation systems serves as booking engines behind most web-based booking and mechanisms (web sites customized web booking for large corporations) in many forms including Application Service Provider models (Sheila Sherlock and William G.Chismar, 2006).We need to narrow our research area and focus on the previous researches of interaction design principles on Internet booking system

A good Design of User interface makes the interaction more easily and less mistaking guidance for the users. So the usability research of interface design becomes particularly important and a crucial concept in the interaction design. According to Lowgren & Stolerman ,(2004) Interaction Design is defined as the process used to create ,form and establish the use oriented characteristics such as structural ,functional ,esthetical for one or more clients. The above mentioned concepts plays a very important role through out the thesis and discussed in detail with Flight booking systems.

In general there are many flight booking systems, what makes the user choose a particular website for booking .The ability to respond to change in use situation makes the user choose a particular website for booking( Jörn Loviscach, 2009). There are also many flexibility issues in the transaction processing systems a reason for not using flight booking systems (Arif Mushtaq & Suziah Sulaiman, 2009) . There are also some critical factors in user interface departments of flight booking system where the user should feel esthetically pleasing (Roshanak Safavi,2009). .The aboissues are analyzed for Flight booking Systems using interaction design principles which leads to the problem statement.

Statement of Problem :

Many Internet booking systems have a low degree of usability (Roshanak Safavi, 2009). For example In the case of Flight booking systems, some of them give unclear error messages and the user cannot understand why a certain booking cannot be performed. When a booking has been done, it is also difficult to roll back the booking if it later turns out that the dates must be changed.          

Research questions (main question):

Why HCI principles are important to consider when designing the flight booking system in order to reach a high degree of usability for the user?


1. Does the design of flight booking system contain major usability flaws?

2.How the user interface design of the flight booking system can be made user-friendly?

Research Purpose:

Since many flight booking systems have a low degree of usability in the use situation(Roshanak Safavi, 2009) .Many users experience problems when interacting with an online reservation system because the systems have not been designed using appropriate design principles. The purpose of this research is therefore to create an understanding for some important interaction design principles that could be used to enhance the usability in a online booking situation. Since our thesis has been illustrated in the user perspective a lots and lots of research question can be derived.

Target Group:

Our target group are professionals who create flight booking systems such as website designers, software developers .Then, Travel agencies, who want to know what usability aspects of the leading flight booking websites to be implemented on their flight booking website to gain user attention. People who work in informatics field i.e Information Systems of Flight booking Systems . Future researchers in the field of Online reservation system.


We have not analyzed Data Base of Flight Reservation system which is our major delimitation and practical implementation logics have not been analyzed ie Back end of the Airline reservation system has not been investigated or analyzed using Interaction Design Principles.

Expected Outcome:

What HCI principles are used to make the Flight booking systems to provide good usability and how they manage to be more effective in bringing the potential of the customer into booking process with less confusion and friction. Our analysis when implemented will increase the usability of the Fight booking system.

2. Research Design:

Research perspevtive:

The word knowledge creation in the below diagrams refers to the cognitive thought on different departments of Human Computer Interaction. .We use user centered approach for creating knowledge where as the knowledge may be in different perspective of the user in flight booking system .This may be for example the experiences faced while booking tickets with the present booking system and the previous knowledge of the researchers who has already presented the validated knowledge in his or her article followed with the critiques on flight booking system. This practical knowledge created in the different departments of human computer interaction of flight booking system needs to be validated using a research strategy.


Further we want to argue with this diagram how can this created knowledge be presented in the research perspective .The knowledge created can be proved only by research strategies. To provide the understability of the knowledge created and for interpretation of the knowledge we found that Hermeneutics research perspective will help us prove our findings in an theoretical manner were the other perspectives are meant with calculations and which does not serve the purpose of our thesis.

According to MichaelN.Forster (2007) "hermeneutics"is the theory of achieving and understading of texts,utterences and so on .A text have a meaning which is independent of interpreted object, and researchers who consider interpretation as condition for all understanding (Rudestam & Newton, 2001). Bernstein (1987) stated that she cannot study a concept unbiased because it is not possible for human beings to think in uninterpreting and uncomprehending manner. So text is thus not limited to the meanings that the author was aware of but reaches beyond that (Nystrom, 2002).

This follows the basic description of the research perspectives.There are three types of research perspectives . They are 1.Qualitative approach 2.Quantitative approach 3.Mixed approach.

2.1.1A reason for not using Quantitative approach?

In this approach the researcher develops knowledge based on postpositivist claims and applies strategies of inquiry using experiments and surveys and gathers data based on predetermined instruments which results in yielding statistical data (John W.Creswell,2003).This approach acquire the ideals from natural science where the collected information and the resulted data is quantitative in manner (Ann Lind, 2005).Therefore this approach is well linked with objectivistic epistemology (Rudestom & Nerwton,2001) and ontology. Since this approach is used in the case of variables evaluation. The understanding of a theoretical concepts on human computer interaction of flight booking system doesn't match our knowledge creation .This reveals this approach will not create a greater impact in our thesis .

2.1.2 Why the Qualitative approach matches our Thesis?

In this approach the researcher makes knowledge claims depending on constructivist perspectives (i.e. multiple meanings of individual experiences and also theories socially and historically constructed) or advocacy/participatory perspectives or both (John W.Creswell,2003) .In this approach the researcher develops themes based on open-ended, emerging data he collected. This approach also uses strategies of inquiry such as narratives ,phenomenology's, case studies, grounded theory studies or ethenographies (John W.Creswell,2003) .This approach is also concerned with issues of measurement, but with measures which are varied in order to numerical measures(Christine Spartt , Rob Walker, Bernadette Robinson,2004).The knowledge created in our thesis has a good validation in accordance with the theoretical findings. So the qualitative approach sounds the better in the case of solving a research question with theoretical back ground.Theoritical background refers to knowledge with practical experiences writtern and validated in theoretical perspective.

TABLE 1: Differences between qualitative and quantitative approaches

Christine Spartt , Rob Walker, Bernadette Robinson,2004

2.2 Research Strategy:

In this section as decided above our thesis follows a qualitative research approach, it is necessary to turn into the research strategy for collecting the required data .

According to Yin (1994) there are five research strategies to collect data. They are 1.Surveys 2.Case studies 3.History 4.experiments 5.Archival analysis.

Table 2: Relevant situations for different research strategies Yin(1994).

Yin (1994) states, the suitable strategy among the five strategies are selected to a relevant research depending on the following conditions.

a) Type of research question posed.

b) The extent of control an investigator has over actual behavioural events.

c) The degree of focus on contemporary as opposed to historical events.

Yin (1994) states, that a case study is an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident.

According to Yin (1994) case study research contains both single and multiple case studies. In our study we are using multiple case studies to analyze website designing using interaction design principles. Because multiple case studies provide evidence which is more compelling and robust (Yin ,1994). As our thesis use an approach which has an explanatory focus on the research purpose we follow multiple case studies as our suitable strategy. We sent a majority of domestic and international airlines list to many people through email and from that we choosed two flight booking airlines where many people suggested i.e, we decided to do a case study on the following website

2.3 Data Collection Procedures:

Data collection plays a very important role to complete a particular research. According to Denscombe (2003) the data collection can be done in the following ways.

a) Experimentation

b) Observation

c) Questionnaire

d) Interviews.

As our research strategy, follow a theoretical background we need data to be collected according to our research purpose . To serve the research purpose we found that the data should be collected in the form of user experiences. This implies that questionnaire would be an appropriate from the following data collection procedures.Sinces, we want to record the practical experiences found when using a flight booking system . We used questionnaire as our major mode of collecting data. The questionnaire was prepared to satisfy the below mentioned intension First the user were given a specified simple task ie. The user were asked to get far down the booking process of each airline(with out actually buying any flight tickets) in order to test the usability of flight booking system .The Questionnaire were prepared using interaction design principles to get the emotions went through while booking process .

2.4 Data Analysis:

Yin (1994) states that data analysis is used to address the initial propositions of a particular research. So for analyzing the collected data in the research, data analysis contains examining, categorizing, tabulating, testing or otherwise recombining both quantitative and qualitative evidence (Yin,1994).According to Yin (1994) there are three strategies for analyzing case study evidence.They are

a) Relying on theoritical propositions

b)Setting up a framework based on rival explanations

c)Developing case descriptions

According to Yin (1994) depending on theoretical propositions is a suggested strategy for case study.The result of this strategy is that the data collection is based on research questions taken from previous researches.Our findings of the study will be compared and analyzed from previous researches.This way of proving research question will be answering the "how" and "why" questions. Any of the above strategies can be applied to five specific techniques for analyzing case studies (Yin,1994) 1.Pattern matching 2.Explanation building 3.time-series analysis 4.Logic models and 5.Cross-case synthesis.

Steps of data analysis procedures:

1.Collected data analyzed to solve research question ie testing usability principles on flight booking system using a cross case analysis.

a)Analyzing results of questionnaire on using previous researches on usability principles .

b)Analyzing results of questionaire on EASYJET.COM using previous researches on usability principles.

Strategies for Validating Findings.

In our thesis we will validate our findings using previous researches on the design principles of usability of human computer interface.

1.Copeland, Duncan G.; McKenney, James L. Airline Reservations Systems: Lessons from History, MIS Quarterly. September 1988.

2. Sheila Sherlock and William G.Chismar, 2006. What Airline Reservation Systems Tell Us about the Future of EHRs

3. Schulz and William C, 1992. The emergence of the real-time computer reservation system as a competitive weapon in the US airline industry 1958-1989

4. GONG Chao, 2009. Human-Computer Interaction: The Usability Test Methods and Design Principles in the Human-Computer Interface Design

5. ROSHANAK SAFAVI ,2009 .Interface Design Issues To Enhance Usability Of E- commerce Websites and Systems .

6. Erik Stolterman,2009.The Nature of Design Practice and Implications

for Interaction Design Research School of Informatics, Indiana University, USA.

7. Powell, T. A., ,2000 Web Design: The Complete Reference. Berkeley, CA:


8. Arif Mushtaq & Suziah Sulaiman, Jörn Loviscach , 2009.Issues with flexibility? Areson for not using online reservation system

9. Löwgren & Stolterman, 2004.The material without qualities

10. Shaclett,, 2001, M. Gauging Web site performance. Credit Union

Magazine, 67, 6, 2001, 60-62.

11.Denscombe 2003, (1998) :The Good Research Guide, second edition ,McGraw-Hill.

12.Christine Spartt , Rob Walker, Bernadette Robinson,2004 Common Wealth Learning.

13.John W.Creswell, 2003 by Sage publications.

14.Yin,Robert K. (1994) Case study Research, Design and Methods, Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage publications.

15.Rudestom,Kjell Erik & Newton,Rae R (2001) Surviving your dissertation. A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process. 2 uppl Thousand Oaks CA:Sage publications.

16.Ann Lind (2005) Successful knowledge creation in virtual communities, Master Thesis in Informatics.