Rock me Amadeus [or rather HipMunk me] !

Yes, that was a song by the infamous Austrian singer Falco, back in the days.

But that’s not where I wanted to take you to, but once again I fell for a catchy headline [sorry..]

I intended to rant about the extremely poor user interface tool users of corporate travel booking solutions are stuck with today *. At least a large corporations, where you’re stuck with a white labeled solution from Amadeus. [claim “948 million billable travel transactions in 2011” – guys, trust me, if there were other choices.. your numbers would look really, really, really bad].
The user inteface feels as if it had been migrated straight from an IBM 3270 terminal emulation at a time where nobody had heard about “usability”. Horror.

So why? Because I read about Hipmunk’s new product “Business Class” yesterday. Oh, how nice and cool could it be… a user interface which doesn’t s***, nicely done, usabable, neat features like integration of Tripadvisor, inclusion of traveller’s outlook calendars, an approval workflow etc.
It would be heaven for a usability specialist to do some A/B testing of these two solutions, even for me it feels like some 20 years of difference.

So I did a bit of research. And stumbled over the fact that Amadeus and Hipmunk announced a cooperation back in June [Hipmunk to license parts of Amadeus tools “Meta Pricer, Amadeus Master Pricer, and Amadeus Web Services solutions”].

There goes my rant.
No need anymore, but maybe I can turn it into something positive:
But please, please, please dear Amadeus – would you make your user interface look, feel and work like Hipmunk?
I’m sure this could be negotiated with the Hipmunk folks. And your users would [sort of] love you all of a sudden.

* Why do I know that at all? Well, the lean production guy I am I’m still booking travel myself [apparantly one of the few people who do so here. Oh well]