A relative of mine has two daughters who live in Palma de Mallorca. Every summer, they come to Bulgaria and spend a couple of months with him. He asked me to book a flight for them.
I decided to do it through the Bulgaria Air website. After all, I want to support Bulgarian companies (never mind that the only direct flight from Palma to Sofia is offered by Bulgaria Air). I entered the departure and arrival points, picked the dates and then tried to define the girls. They are too young to be adults, so I tried a youth and a child. It did not work – I could not select a child. Finally I identified the girls as a youth and a student. After all, the older girl is a student, and the younger one I thought might be a youth.
I continued on the next page and picked dates and entered names. After that I entered contact information and clicked to continue. I got the message that “Date of birth is invalid according to the age rules. (4503 – 2104)”
1. Maybe there are some people at Bulgaria Air who know what a valid date of births might be. I do not know. The problem however is not that I do not know but that the site does not tell me.
2. Nothing on the screen suggests which date of birth might be invalid nor which part is invalid: day, month, or year.
3. 4503 – 2104. (If someone knows what “(4503 – 2104)” means, please let me know as well.)
Overall, the message is useless.
Quick and dirty fix: identify the invalid date and state the age rules or provide a link to them.
Design for humans: change the interaction so that he UI does not ask users to first select some fuzzy categories. A meaningful design will assign the categories based on the age that the users enter.
Yes, I bought the tickets from another site. Sorry Bulgaria Air.
14 January 2014 | https://book.air.bg