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Designing a Better Boarding Pass

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Back in mid-December, Tyler Thompson,  creative director at New York web-hosting site, SquareSpace, took a Delta flight from New York’s JFK airport to Seattle, on which he apparently didn’t have adequate reading material.  Thompson cast a professional eye at his boarding pass and found it lacking not only visual punch, but also clarity of information.

In-flight, Thompson sketched out a few different ways to better communicate the pertinent information, and then back at his computer he created some mock-ups.  Next, he opened up the redesign project to the design community through a web site: Boarding Pass/Fail.  What has transpired since the site went live in early January is an entertaining public conversation  about everything wrong with this small, disposable necessity of air travel. Here’s hoping the airline industry takes notice.

On my wish list for Thompson and his fellow designers to tackle next?  The ground transportation signage at JFK airport, please.  Any travel-related  designs you love to hate?

Ann Shields is an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Credit: Tyler Thompson

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