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WEB SITE REVIEW

Timeline: Pretty Interface, Ugly Rollout

Facebook will be disrupting the online lives of its members in the coming weeks with the redesign of their profile pages. The redesign, called "Timeline," has been available on a limited basis since it was announced in September, but Thursday the social network announced a system-wide rollout of the...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Google+ Doesn’t Quite Add Up to a Social Powerhouse

Fresh off failure from its first social network attempt, Google decided it'd give the tech trend another shot and launched Google+, the company's hope for rivaling networking leaders Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I was lucky enough to be able to give Google+ a trial run and play around with the si...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Clicker Cuts Through Web Video Chaos

Let's put this simply: If you want to stream free, professional videos online, Clicker makes finding the video easier than most other solutions I've seen. In fact, it's one of the few online television and video search guides that I've felt compelled to create an account with. Why? Easy. It targets ...

WEB SITE REVIEW

AA.com Sucks the Fun Out of Trip-Planning

It's fitting that the last stop on my tour of travel-planning Web sites for the E-Commerce Times was American Airlines. The site illustrates all of the problems that spurred this special look at travel sites in the first place. Travel sites have developed a reputation for being hard to navigate and ...

WEB SITE REVIEW

United Offers a Touch of Class

United Airlines was my Internet destination as I continued sampling travel-planning Web sites for the E-Commerce Times. The first item to catch my eye was an unusual graphic -- neither a 1) plane 2) automobile 3) hotel nor 4) iconic celebrity hawker. Instead it was a stylized drawing of a woman's ou...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Southwest Doesn’t Fool Around

This week, I headed southwest as I continued making the rounds of travel-planning Web sites for the E-Commerce Times. My first impression of Southwest Airlines' Web site was that its online presence faithfully reflected its corporate persona: It looked to be a roll-up-your sleeves, no nonsense outfi...

WEB SITE REVIEW

JetBlue: Light on Frills, Heavy on Friendly

My tour of travel-planning Web sites for the E-Commerce Times has included stops at some of the aggregator sites, some discount companies and some alternative services. I'm now entering new territory with explorations of the Web sites of the operators themselves. First stop: JetBlue, a discount airl...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Priceline Is Weak Sauce for Shatner’s Hype

As I got ready to jump off at the next stop on my whirlwind tour of travel-planning Web sites, I found myself in the grip of something close to excitement. Trying out Priceline.com was going to be a new experience for me as well -- but it already felt familiar, thanks to my beloved William Shatner (...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Hotwire Helps You Score a Cool Deal

Hotwire is a discount site that sells off unsold inventory by masking the identity of the hotel or rental car service or airline until the purchase is complete. I have to confess the concept never appealed to me that much -- it conjured up visions of middle-row airline seats and secluded hotels that...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Bookit.com Has Some Nifty Features Hiding Under the Clutter

Clutter, clutter, clutter -- will they never learn? Well into our survey of travel-planning Web sites, a common design theme continues to predominate: a crowded user interface that detracts from the supposed utilitarian purpose of the site. Bookit.com is no exception, although it is not as bad as so...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Bing Travel Gets You Where You’re Going, but No Peanuts

I remember when Kayak accused Bing of "borrowing" some of its design features last year. At the time, I wondered if indeed Kayak had a legitimate complaint -- the sites' designs are similar. However, after reviewing four separate travel-planning Web sites, I have concluded that Bing and Kayak could...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Kayak: A Boatload of Delicious Simplicity

Continuing the E-Commerce Times' exploration of travel-planning Web sites, I paddled over to Kayak this week, and after a few minutes of playing around with the site, I was inexplicably struck with the desire for ice cream. Specifically, Haagen Dazs' five simple ingredients ice cream. No doubt, you...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Orbitz Has You Running in Circles

For this week's installment in the E-Commerce Times' series on travel-planning Web sites, I took a spin around Orbitz, completing my tour of the top three aggregators. Thus far, my biggest complaint about travel sites in general has been overcrowded user interfaces that waste space with self promoti...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Expedia Is Spare but Savvy

My first impression of Expedia -- a site that I used to frequent but haven't visited in at least a year -- is that its design is refreshingly straightforward: a three-column layout relatively uncluttered with self-promotion. Not that it's completely devoid of such ads. (Note to Web designers: Most p...

WEB SITE REVIEW

Blinders May Help When You’re Tooling Around Travelocity

Travel Web sites were among the first category of e-commerce ventures to actually make a buck a decade or so ago. It is astounding, therefore, that recent industry reports show a deep dissatisfaction among many users of these portals. In particular, Forrester Research recently reported on the failin...

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