1. the successful start-ups take the pain out of what is often a frustrating experience (in this case making a quick decison about where to go and what to do when you finally feel you either need and or can take a vacation);
2. the innovators of those start-ups nearly always come from outside the industry. Thanks to their suffering, we all benefit; and
3. Simple is better than complicated and good design essential.
The founders of Wanderfly fall into that category. They are young, still in Beta and the sceptical will, no doubt, find fault but I am excited and impressed and so is TNooz (see Dan Schaal's post).
Here's Wanderfly's description of the prooblem as set out in their first blog post ages ago in June 1010.
With millions of travel websites, blogs, Twitter lists, reviews, and the occasional ”Nancy-from-down-the-street’s travel idea,” the Internet is no place for travelers prone to motion sickness. Taking a trip requires hours of searching, planning, and booking. The headache of travel planning is literally built into the system.
But does it have to be?
Consider: 70% of travelers don’t know where they want to go just a few months before they depart. They search the web for 6.7 weeks, perform 8.1 searches, and visit 25 sites before booking (via Phocuswright / Google). They want direction. They want inspiration. Unfortunately, they’re bogged down by endless information, leading to a lot of aimless searches.
Many sites claim to help travelers discover new places. But how can they do this well when they’re cluttered with buttons, dials and other options? How can they inspire when they treat people like machines, capable of digesting large amounts of data? How can they have a human touch when they’re so focused on the transaction?
At Wanderfly, our goal is to bring you new experiences through travel. We do this in a way that is simple and beautiful. We make the process fun, so you can get excited long before you board the plane. We even encourage you to be more spontaneous, take some chances, live a little. After all, isn’t that what travel is all about?
So stop stressing out about your next trip, and be the first to get inspired.
None of the founders and core team are what you might call seasoned members of the travel industry but they are seasoned and, no doubt, battle weary members of the traveling public who also happened to be good marketers, designers and technologists. They've attracted the attention of the design community for their ability to avoid cramming too much information into a page, overloading the senses and paralysing decision-making. See this review "reinventing travel through design" As the author of that blog notes, they have obeyed three key principles of good design as postulated by the well known industrial designer, Dieter Rams: “Good design makes a product useful. Good design helps a product be understood. Good design is as little design as possible.”
Now take a look at where they are at just six months later. Welcome to the crazy world of online travel marketing where we desperately need a new approach so let's all go Wander, Go Fly, Go Wanderfly!
Thanks to @Fuelcreativity for the graphic - do check out their site - some real gems there.