In the old days it was a pain to find the right flight at the right price and the right time. Then Orbitz.com and other travel websites came along and put (almost) all of that information in one place. But they botched the interface so badly it allowed Hipmunk.com to enter the market simply by being easier to use.
Likewise, it used to be a pain to find the right movie at the right theater at the right time. If you had three theaters within driving distance, three friends with different movie preferences, and some timing issues, it was hard to narrow down the choices. Then Fandango.com and other movie websites came along to put all of that information on one website. But they botched the interface so badly it allowed Wigglehop to make a space for themselves simply by being easier to use. (It’s both a website and an app for iPhone and iPad.)
I wonder how many more botched interface markets are waiting to be exploited. TiVo does a great job for television shows but I think there’s still another level of Interface improvement out there waiting to happen in that field.
GPS is wonderful technology, but I haven’t yet seen a wonderful GPS user interface. They all seem tedious and wordy to me. That’s a botched interface in my opinion.
I’m also annoyed that I have to first open a browser on my computer before I enter a URL or search term. I want to press one button, enter the search term, and have the browser open at its own pace after the fact. Google used to let me tap the CTRL key twice to open a search window before the browser opened, but I think that function went away with Windows 7. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Finding a contact on my computer or smartphone seems like a tedious bother. I want to click once on my contacts icon and see a screen of photos of my most-contacted people. I can recognize a face quicker than a name in text. That’s another market opportunity. Or maybe some app already solved it.
Do you have any more examples of recent user interface breakthroughs? I like those.