Online travel brochures; how do users want to use them?

October 17, 2006

There’s a lot of talk about e-brochuring currently in the online travel world and a number of methods for delivering them have emerged.

There’s the ‘turn a page’ method which has been in the news today on Travelmole. This is being touted as the ‘user friendly’ way to do it.

There’s also another method offered by a lot of major tour operators which allows you to download chunks of a paper brochure in PDF format.

Now, I believe both the above methods are a really poor online interpretation of how a user wants to access a brochure online. Consider a user who visits a travel website, are they really interested in leafing through a brochure in a similar manner to offline? I don’t think so. Also, do they really want to download large sections as a PDF? Again probably not.

A method which is overlooked is letting the user select the content they want to take offline with them. Allowing a user to have the choice of which hotels they receive seems a far more useful way to implement this to me!

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