It's not the website, it's the culture

aa-redesign

A fellow User Experience guy named Dustin Curtis took a stab at redesigning American Airlines’ horrifically bad website, and published his redesign as a “Dear AA.com” letter. His post got shared a lot through NOTCOT, and even received a response for a designer at AA.com, who agreed at how bad the airlines’ customer experiences are.

Every designer has worked for a client like American Airlines — an organization that is so siloed and disorganized, that it effects their brand and customer experiences, from ticket lines, to web site. I bet there’s a joke here about working on AA.com and becoming an alcoholic.

But snarks aside, the only way big companies change is by transforming their culture. Because crappy websites are a symptom of an internal illness, not just a bad design team. So, our job as UX practitioners is to design change, to raise our focus to people and processes, not layouts and wireframes. It’s a very, very difficult thing to do, unless you’re at a company than values UX from the CEO down.