My third Ironhack challenge: Usability Evaluation and Site Redesign for Skyscanner

I’m an Ironhack student and in this post I will share my experience on one of the challenges presented by the academy. The challenge consisted in a Usability Evaluation and Site Redesign (you can find my first challenge on Design thinking here and my second one on Wireframing here).

The task was to analyzed a travel booking app and test it with a specific user type. This user type will have to follow a series of steps to book a hotel and flight having as destination one of the new 7 wonders. From the testing result we needed to present a site redesign for the issues that were encountered when using the app.

Getting to know our user

For my user type I choose an elderly couple (between 60 and 80 years old). I wanted to select a user type that was very different from mine so that I could work on my empathy.

The basic goal of our elder couple is to visit one of the wonders now that they are retired. They are people that want a flexible package that allows them to relax and not having to do much planning on their own.

In my analysis, I established that this retired couple would live in the same city as I live (Barcelona).

Getting to know our users destination

Picture of the Coliseum taken by me on 2017

I chose the Coliseum as the destination. Since my user type will be an elderly couple, I wanted to pick a destination that was not far away, so that the trip wouldn’t represent a hassle.

At this point, I did a little bit of research in order to know more about the necesites of our selected user type:

Getting to know the travel booking app

For this challenge we made a usability heuristics evaluation to compare the travel booking apps of Kayak, Hooper, Skyscanner and Tripadvisor. The four apps perform well on the evaluation, but considering my user type, I ended up choosing Skyscanner to perform the usability test. My personal favorite from the four of them was Tripadvisor but I felt that it is loaded with a lot of information that can make it confusing to use for our user type.

Getting to test Skyscanner

Having chosen Skyscanner as my test app, I select 4 people from the user type group. I performed the test with my parents and in-laws.

My in laws live in Barcelona so it was easier for me to explain the tasks that they have to perform. With my parents, it was a different story, I talked to them through a Whatsapp call and the process took me twice as much time, at the end they got it but it was quite an experience.

For the case of my in-laws I open the app on my phone and explain to them the tasks to be performed (all along I did not tell them the app name).

In the case of my parents, I asked them to download the app and then to perform the tasks.

The tasks to follow were:

After following this tasks, I presented my users the following questions:

After the interview I found that the main problems they encounter were the following:

Getting to define what need to be improved

First of all, let me say that I really enjoy this app. I think it has a beautiful design and that is simple to use, which is one of the reasons I thought it will be suitable for my selected user type. This made it tougher for me to find what to improve. At the end I went for improvements that mainly focused on making it easier for our user type to select the app and to better promote offers and discount packages.

For this redesign exercise I tried to focus on improving three things:

Getting to redesign our improvements

I divided my flows in two: flight booking flow and hotel booking flow. Went view by view on both flows and made the redesign changes . I first focus on highlighting the brand and then make little changes to the buttons and used colors to exalt were users should click.

You can compare both designs below. For the original Skyscanner I present one of the usability tests that I recorded, and you can give a look to my paper redesign prototype and my invision hi-fi prototype:

Overall I really enjoy performing this challenge, my pain points were the interview process when users are in remote and having to come with redesign ideas for an app that is so well thought out.

UX/UI designer with great system design skills