UX Review: KAYAK travel app

by Georgios Maninis on 26 March 2013

'Kayak' is a tech company 'focused on making online travel better'. With 20 million+ downloads their travel app is one of the most popular on the market. I took the time to look at it because not only is it popular but it's a shining example of how to design an application that incorporates multiple features into one simple, user friendly application. Oh, and it also does mCommerce pretty well.


  • Clear and big call-to-actions
  • Same features as desktop version
  • Comprehensible sorting filters across all features
  • Map/list option and the map runs really quickly and shows consolidated results, e.g. 5+ hotels in the same area appear under the same tab when map is zoomed out
  • Generally, the app is quick and light
  • The auto-fill option is brilliant, and for an app which requires a lot of information at regular intervals this can really save a lot of time
  • There is a 'Guest login' option if you book via Kayak, another great time saver for making purchases on a mobile device



Areas (small) for improvement

  • Calendars could be more contextual, so that they don’t show previous weeks
  • Some icons and information isn’t intuitive. For example,   looking for flights a number appears on the right side, but it’s not immediately clear what it stands for
  • As per our recent mCommerce study we know that security is very important to users making purchases on mobile devices. While the Kayak app does display a symbol (padlock) close to where you enter credit card details, it could provide more reassurances, especially give the high value nature of purchasing hotels or flights
  • If you chose not to pay via Kayak the checkout process largely depends on how good website is to which you are redirected, a necessary evil for bargain hunters


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