Today was the launch of BA’s new site (well, sort of) with a new homepage with a big splash of inspirational images and more contemporary design. Whilst the website front page is a fantastic step in the right direction, and seemingly a vague copy of the new Virgin Atlantic homepage, British Airways have also made the same mistake of launching a non-fully integrated site. Sadly a few clicks away from the homepage and you are back into the old site.
With the much anticipated launch of their competitor, Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class product in 48 hours, this can be seen as a bit of a PR stunt to get a few column inches to steer the news away from Virgin prior to their launch. A clever move, but sadly it seems rushed, and instead of something really special, this seems too superficial and not really executed to a high enough standard to hold it’s own.
The booking engine is even more of a mismatch of design. The page designs flick between old and new as you go through the whole purchase process. Underneath the big splash image seems to follow a confusing array of secondary information, from flight searches to holiday deals to the Olympics. It feels a little unconsidered, and your eyes instantly don’t engage with the layout, meaning bypassing the layout and navigating to your way to the top of the page and using the menu to actually navigate your way through the site. Amazingly by changing country to something such as Uruguay, the actual layout of the homepage is simpler and a lot more powerful. Example here.
One thing I do like however, is the British Airways website footer. I hope this is the look of things to come within the airline. The clean almost black background with the BA ribbon centrally positioned really gives an element of class and lifts the design.