Agents do not want to give up the option of data entry and booking via the keyboard despite new graphical booking interfaces. The PASS graphical desktop interfaces for agents are designed for operation with and without a mouse.
Developments at Amadeus USA show the importance of taking agents’ usage habits into account in designing graphical interfaces: the company has postponed the rollout of its new “Amadeus One” agent desktop. Among other reasons, this was done because it became obvious that a graphical interface would be accepted by agents only if full operability was available via the keyboard.
Fast operation combined with the advantages of the graphical interface
The PASS Agent Desktop, successor to VTO, has long since integrated this function. After all, PASS experienced precisely this phenomenon years ago with its independent agent desktop VTO. Now, in the replacement product each agent can operate the application via (configurable) keyboard shortcuts or use command line input, which then translates the query entered in the usual cryptic commands into a graphical result.
These and several other tools make the agents’ work easier. Thus, the advantages of the graphical display (easy legibility of the screens, fewer errors in selection, fast recognition of compatibility with travel guidelines, etc.) can be combined with the speed of input via the keyboard.
We were able to meet the agents’ requirements regarding both enabling keyboard shortcuts and graphical interfaces. Nevertheless, it’s time to rethink the way of displaying special offers in agent desktops even more. Specific promotions should not be visualized by cryptic signs. Using descriptive pictures instead, while still allowing operability via keyboard is the best way to suit the agents’ as well as the suppliers needs to realize purchases. For instance, products on ebay are best sold when there are photographs provided besides a verbal description. This may be transferable to most of travel related merchandises.
Customized solutions based on standard components
The PASS agent desktop was created using the PASS Travel Framework and is part of the PASS Solution World TravelS, a solution framework which offers “off the rack” customized solutions based on established, configurable and openly combinable services. PASS agent front ends are used by more than 20,000 agents in over 50 countries around the globe.
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