If you do any traveling and you haven’t yet discovered TripIt.com I strongly encourage you to check it out.
(You also need to go and subscribe to Joel Spolsky’s RSS feed. He wrote about this at the end of last week, and if you’re reading my blog and not following his articles then you clearly have things in the wrong order).
All you need to do is find a booking confirmation email from an airline, hotel or rental car company and forward it via email to email@example.com. They will convert your email into a simple itinerary page for your trip and send you back a link. If you have other bookings to include in the same itinerary, simply forward them on.
No more searching through your inbox to find all of these confirmation emails before your trip, which is good.
But, what’s really great in my opinion is that they have revolutionised the registration process. In fact they have eliminated the registration process altogether. By making the first interaction email based there is no need to fill in a cumbersome form on the website – entering you email address twice to make sure you don’t have any typos, choosing a password (which we all know usually means entering the same password you use on more or less every site), waiting for a confirmation email and then clicking on the link to validate that your email address is actually yours, etc etc. All of that is history.
I really like this idea – replacing a complex process with a simple email – and I think it could probably be used in lots of different situations.
Are there other websites ballsy enough to replace their entire registration page and process with an email address?
Are there any other examples of email-as-interface that you’ve seen out there? If so, I’m keen to hear about them.