The Delta

Ooooo new super cool-looking cards for the Delta American Express cards. I like those big bold separator lines.

Got one just by “replacing” the card and saying it’s just because we want the updated design, not because it’s lost or anything.

I’ve been rocking this combo for a long time. I just like watching our miles accumulate, even though we never use them. We obviously don’t fly that much these days, so we’ll get our miles at the gas pump (and, ya know, through every other dollar we spend).

What really needs redesign though is printed boarding passes. Perhaps they are on the way out since so many people just use the mobile apps, but hey, I still like the printed ones too. If someone will go wrong with your phone, it will happen 2 seconds before you need it to board. Nothing can go wrong with a bit of paper in your back pocket.

Every time I’ve seen one of those “unsolicited redesigns” for boarding passes I’m like “yeah that’s better” even though normally unsolicited redesigns are utter garbage ignoring untold piles of knowledge the designer isn’t privy to.

In these cases, I would suspect the information the designers don’t have is…

  • Is the aspect ratio necessary for some reason? Why stick with it — or not?
  • Can the printers really print in color? Is that practical? Is it worth the cost? Is there trickery possible, like a pre-printed base and on-demand data printed on top?
  • What else about the printers do we need to know? Is there an amount of ink that needs to be adhered to? What kind of paper are we dealing with?
  • How consistent are the printing conditions? We’re talking worldwide here right?
  • Are there any legal requirements?
  • What else could be done if we’re upending the apple cart here? Could we improve their accessibility? Are there things aside from the aesthetics and usability that important stakeholders would solve through a reboot of boarding passes?


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2 responses to “The Delta”

  1. Dan says:

    This would be rad for driver’s licenses and state IDs, even if they just treated date of birth and expiration date like the two items in the bottom right.

  2. Elwin says:

    I think another ‘real world requirement’ that is overlooked in these kind of redesigns is the length of people’s names.

    For example in the KLM-example above it looks that the position of the date next to the name is only based on the length of the designers own/placeholder name, not on ‘every possible length of a name’.
    (But the max-length could just as well come from another (back-office) system somewhere in the chain)

    Also, I don’t know what the maximum length of the flight-number would be, but I guess that ‘only space for 3 digits’ isn’t enough.

    I also wonder what kind of uses by ground/cabin crew should be taken into account… Reading it upside-down? Etc?

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