Critique of AAA site


The AAA site has some issues with consistency. The bar of links at the top of the page that includes tabs like “Home,” “Membership,” “Discounts,” has different colors and presentation on different parts of the website. In some parts, it doesn’t even have exactly all the same links. There is some consistency to the look and feel. Most links for interacting with the site in an official or commercial way (e.g. shopping, booking) have a similar pale red button.

I don’t know of any shortcuts for the site because I don’t use it much. But there are improvements to be made. For instance, in flight searching, query auto-suggestion with names of airports would be useful. This also ties in to error handling. Users can, however, at least use the tab key to switch between data entry fields.

With regard to feedback to user action, buttons don’t change in appearance as they’re clicked. Much user action is just clicking of links, in which the feedback is the changing web page.

Actions are not easily reversed. When your session expires, you get booted back to the home page. I would have this changed to return to the last page you were on that didn’t contain sensitive user-provided. If a field is entered incorrectly, one often has to return to the previous page and redo it.

Short-term memory load is not well-handled. There are many links and lines of text in multiple columns on nearly every page. It would help for key links to be more graphical and for less important ones to be made into subcategories of overall topics.

Given the amount of content and services that the site offers, it could have done worse. However, there are substantial improvements to be made in navigability, data entry, and consistency.