Wednesday, November 17, 2010

QANTAS Frequent Flyer Icons

QANTAS Frequent Flyer Pictogram for flyRecently I was renewing my QANTAS Club membership (ACS members get a discount). I noticed that QANTAS were using frequent flyer icons and offering a Frequent Flyer points iGoogle Gadget. There are seven icons (more correctly pictograms).

I encourage my web design students to use pictograms, but care needs to be taken with their selection and use. In this case QANTAS has include a caption in each icon, which reduces confusion (but is a problem for multiple languages). The colour of each QANTAS icon indicates if the customer has earned points recently (red: points earned, grey: no points).The use of colour for status alone is not a good idea and does not meet accessibility guidelines. Also there can be confusion over the meaning of the icons. In this case, for example, green would be more appropriate to indicate that there has been recent activity (as in traffic lights: green for "go") and red for no activity (red: "stopped"). Use of grey is ambiguous, as it is not a colour.
  1. QANTAS pictogram for flightsFly: For points earned flying. This icon resembles the "Departing Flights" pictogram of AIGA/U.S. Department of Transportation.
  2. QANTAS pictogram for Everyday RewardsShop: For points at Woolworths Group stores. The meaning of the shopping trolley is reasonably clear.
  3. QANTAS pictogram for credit or charge cardPay: For payment by credit and charge cards. This symbol is not so clear and might be mistaken for a hamburger (fast food).
  4. Earn points when staying with hotel partnersStay: For hotel partners. This symbol is commonly used for accommodation.
  5. Earn points on car rentalsHire: For car rental.
  6. Earn points when dining out at restaurantsEat: For restaurants. Similar to the DOT "Restaurant" pictogram.
  7. QANTAS pictogram for program partnersMore: For other partners in the QANTAS scheme. This is the DOT pictogram for "First Aid". Its use here is confusing and inappropriate. A better symbol might be three dots.

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