What Makes a Website Stand Out | Comparison of Airline Websites

Ryanair logo
easyJet logo
Wizz Air logo
airBaltic logo

Airline websites are selected for a study: Ryanair, easyJet, Wizz Air and airBaltic. Since Ryanair is the market leader and one of the largest airline groups in Europe, it is chosen as the main brand for the research.

STEP #1 CHALLENGE:

The main goal is to understand what Ryanair’s website is missing compared with competing brands and what improvements could be done.

The following are insights from the first glance:

Firstly, an apparent informational overload makes it hard for a user to find relevant information or understand which information is essential.

Secondly, the website is presented in many different bright colors, which hinders a user’s focus. 

Thirdly, the choice of high or low contrast for some design elements seems inadequate.  

STEP #2 ATTENTION INSIGHTS:

The websites have been tested using the Attention Insight algorithm on the following objects: 

  • Flight Search Block
  • Special Flight Offers Block
  • Advertising Banner
  • Covid-19 Information Block
  • Brand’s Logo

Flight Search Block

Results:

Ryanair – 5%

easyJet – 25%

Wizz Air – 26%

airBaltic – 33%

1. Even though separate parts of the Ryanair website’s Flight Search Block have almost the same percentage of attention (0-4%) as the ones on airBaltic, easyJet, and Wizz Air websites’ flight search blocks, the bad placement (being placed near a very vivid and moving advertising banner) makes its total percentage of attention have the lowest score: only 5%

Ryanair website
Ryanair heatmaps and percentage of attention

2. EasyJet (25%) and Wizz Air (26%) Flight Search Blocks could be seen as an excellent example of both, design and placement. Both blocks being placed near advertising banners manage to stand out because of the layout and the overall design consistency of these airlines’ landing pages. Moreover, the two search blocks are designed as blocks and not in a linear way. It takes up much more space on the landing page and, in that way, makes this specific block more noticeable.

easyJet website
easyJet heatmaps and percentage of attention
Wizz Air website
Wizz Air heatmaps and percentage of attention

3. As the heatmap shows, the part which grabs most customers’ attention is the heading Book Your Next Flight (6%) which is written in a slightly bigger font than any other text on the website and is placed at the top of the airBaltic Flight Search Block. The airBaltic (33%) website’s design also helps this block to be seen. Soft colors and only a few photos make even the simplest design ideas, such as the heading Book your next flight to stand out. 

airBaltic website
airBaltic heatmaps and percentage of attention

Flight Search Block

Results:

Ryanair  – 43%

easyJet – 8% 

WizzAir – 13% 

airBaltic – 44%

1. On Ryanair‘s website, the Special Flight Offers Block is located right below the discount section, at the bottom of the home page. The Attention Insight results have shown that 43% of attention is on this particular element. The whole area is divided into more detailed blocks. Specifically, the title Flights of the day attracts 7% of the attention, Number of passengers, and Filter by type sections attract 1% of the attention. When it comes to the Special flight offers particularly, the first offer attracts the most – 11% of the attention, the following two 8%, and 8% respectively, and the last one in the row gets 0%.

Ryanair website
Ryanair heatmaps and percentage of attention

2. The Wizz Air website presents the Special flight offers section at the bottom of the home page. The whole section, which attracts 13% of the attention, is represented only with its offers. There is no filter tag, as in Ryanair website.

Wizz Air website
Wizz Air heatmaps and percentage of attention

3. easyJet’s Special flight offer section is located in the middle of the home page, right after the CTA section. The whole Special flight offer area attracts 8% of the attention. In this section, four particular flight offers options are presented. The first offer catches 3% of the attention, the second and third – 2% per offer, and the last one – 1%.

easyJet website
easyJet heatmaps and percentage of attention

4. Lastly, the airBaltic Special flight offer section is located in the middle of the front page. According to the Attention Insight results, the Special flight offer section named Book your skiing holiday is the most attractive part on the front page – 44% of the attention, whereas the title gets 8%. There are three special flight offers in this section. From left to right, they receive 17%, 11%, and 6% respectively.

airBaltic website
airBaltic heatmaps and percentage of attention

Advertising Banner

Results:

Ryanair – 45%

easyJet – 29%

WizzAir – 30%

airBaltic – x

1. The Advertising Banners on easyJet and Wizz Air websites are placed on the same level as the Flight Search Block. It might give us an idea that the flight search blocks become more noticeable this way because customers’ eyes treat this block as a part of a vivid and colorful advertising banner.

easyJet website
easyJet heatmaps and percentage of attention
Wizz Air website
Wizz Air heatmaps and percentage of attention

2. In both Wizzair and easyJet websites, the most eye-grabbing parts of the Advertisement Banner are the promotional taglines due to their size and color contrast. Interestingly, the promotional images next to the taglines have not received any particular attention, according to the heatmap, if compared to Ryanair’s case.

Ryanair website
Ryanair heatmaps and percentage of attention

3. In Ryanair’s case, the advertisement block’s performance is 2% higher than that of the Special Flight Offers Block, the second-best performing block on the website. It is particularly attractive due to its high color contrast and relatively big font size.

Covid-19 Information Block

Results:

Ryanair – 1%

easyJet – x

WizzAir – 6%

airBaltic – 1%

 

1. easyJet airlines were the only ones that did not have this information. 

 

2. This information is the most visible on the Wizz Air website and receives 6% of the attention. On this website, information is written in the yellow background and black letters. Yellow creates strong contrast with the pink background, where the Flight search block is presented. That’s why it gets more attention than the same information on airBaltic and Ryanair websites. 

Wizz Air website
Wizz Air heatmaps and percentage of attention

3. AirBaltic and Ryanair websites have the information presented in lighter colors. airBaltic uses light yellow color background and dark letters, while Ryanair uses a very light red background and black letters).

airBaltic website
airBaltic heatmaps and percentage of attention
Ryanair website
Ryanair heatmaps and percentage of attention

Logo

Results:

Ryanair – 0%

easyJet – 0%

WizzAir – 1%

airBaltic – 3%

 

1. The Attention Insight results show that the Logo is the most visible on the airBaltic website and gets 3% of the attention. Another logo that received attention was Wizz Air 1%.

airBaltic website
airBaltic heatmaps and percentage of attention
Wizz Air website
Wizz Air heatmaps and percentage of attention

2. easyJet (0%) and Ryanair (0%) logos are not visible at all. Both airlines present their logos in the top left corner of the website, while on airBaltic and Wizz Air websites logo is presented almost in the center of the top row.

easyJet website
easyJet heatmaps and percentage of attention
Ryanair website
Ryanair heatmaps and percentage of attention

Website Clarity / Complexity of the Website

Results:

Ryanair – 52%

easyJet – 48%

WizzAir – 61%

airBaltic – 61%

1. The Attention Insight tool identified Ryanair as having the lowest results in terms of clarity of the interface for a new user, with a clarity score of 52%. Ryanair’s website is of moderate difficulty compared to the top 170 Alexa sites in the landing category. Ryanair seems to be less than an ideal website in terms of the interface. It might have to do with the fact that it uses many different bright colors and much of it throughout its landing page.

2. airBaltic and Wizzair scored the highest, both with a clarity score of 61%

3. However, the easyJet website scored even less than the Ryanair website – 48%.

STEP #3 RESULTS:

1. All four websites have the Flight Search Block – which is directly related to their core business – displayed as the main element and one of the first things that a person would notice. However, Ryanair gives it less display with a more focus on an Advertising Banner.

2. The most apparent difference between airBaltic and Ryanair websites also lie in the use of colors as airBaltic has a very clean landing page, with an adequate amount of white space and restricting themselves to a couple of colors only. 

3. Moreover, it has been noticed that except for Wizz Air, the essential information such as the Covid-19 bar is barely noticeable. The regulations and important information regarding the global pandemic have been shared on three websites (Ryanair, airBaltic, and Wizz Air). The bar on the Ryanair and airBaltic websites got few percentages of attention. In contrast, easyJet does not provide such information on their home page. 

4. Another least noticeable element on the websites is the Logo. Only airBaltic and Wizz Air logos attracted a minor share of the overall attention.

Recommendations

1. Tackle information and design overload by limiting the range of used colors.

Cut down on the cacophony of colors used in advertisements and promotional images while keeping the color palette bright but simple, all while consistent with their brand.

2. Carefully choose the website’s layout.

Redesign the Flight Search block: to have this element clearly placed in the center without overshadowing design elements. For example, instead of the overwhelmingly colorful, eye-catching Advertising Banner, a Special flight offers block could be placed right under the Flight Search block.

3. Test different CTAs.

Test out different versions of the text for the Search CTA button to see if a phrase like “Search for Flight” would perform better. We propose that such wording would create better associations in the potential customer’s mind than the word Search alone.

4. Add functional features for the most relevant elements for a better UX. 

Add an additional input field to the Flight Search Block where users could choose the flight dates. Supplementary parts on the Flight Search Block would make it bigger and, at the same time, more noticeable.

Ryanair website
Ryanair heatmaps and percentage of attention
easyJet website
easyJet heatmaps and percentage of attention
Wizz Air website
Wizz Air heatmaps and percentage of attention
airBaltic website
airBaltic heatmaps and percentage of attention

 

It is a part of the study which was implemented by the students at ISM University of Management and Economics: Austėja Kuktaitė, Eglė Gedminaitė, Roberta Jokūbauskaitė, Vaida Lekavičiūtė, Viktorija Naumčik.

Get the first 5 heatmaps for free.
No credit card required.

Complete Guide to DATA-DRIVEN DESIGN

Get ebook for free. Just leave your email below.

You will be subscribed to our mailing list.