This post from Adam Glynn-Finnegan is making the rounds. In the post he offers another redesigned airline boarding pass. I don’t much care about what he did, but I want to bring up a few points that have been driving me nuts (since it seems every 6-months these posts about new airline boarding passes pop up):
- Why are you still designing them horizontally? That’s a stupid direction because it’s not the easiest way to hold a pass and read it in a human hand — portrait is. There are more problems with this orientation too, like the fact that the line length becomes too long to easily scan with an eye, so you get lost in the wash of data, instead of honing in on the important data.
- Why are all these boarding passes being design for paper? That’s so dumb it hurts me to think about. ((Yes, in the linked post he asks if the concept is dead, but that was answered two years ago (at least).)) Most airlines, most airports even, allow you to pull up the pass on your phone and use it that way. Now, that means you not only need a portrait pass, but that you also should be designing for the best solution (phone use) instead of the archaic one (paper). Even at that, there’s a ton of people that come to the airport having printed out their passes on a computer using 8.5″x11″ paper — not a thermal printer at the airport, which is likely the least used these days — so at the very least you need to consider these being printed on a much larger paper size.
- Why are we still using the tear-off option here? Given what I said in point #2, there are very few people with perforated tickets to begin with, and even fewer instances where airline staff are tearing off and keeping parts of the tickets. There’s a reason for that barcode on the ticket.
All of that brings me to my last and final point: security and airline staff are relying on the barcodes, not the printed information. The only person relying on the printed information is the passenger. For the very rare instance other people need to review the ticket, they can read smaller print.
In other words: the entire ticket should be designed mostly for the user, with a huge barcode for easy scanning, and a ticket made to work best on a portrait-held smartphone first a foremost.
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