Challenge III: Usability Evaluation and Site Redesign

Amelie Nicklas
Oct 9 · 5 min read

The next challenge was directed towards usability evaluation and site redesign, following these steps:

  1. Decide on and create more specific persona
    2. Do a Heuristics evaluation of three different apps
    3. Do a Usability Test with three users
    4. Summarize the findings, find pain points
    5. Redesign wireframes (low and mid-fi)

→ 1. Decide on and create more specific persona

Worldtrotter, Backpacker — 18–38 y/o (1)
You’ve decided to finally go visit that wonder that has been sitting in your dreams for a long time now. Yo don’t have a long time to plan but also you don’t need it. You’ll be traveling in 6 months and are open to almost any possibility but have a budget constraint. You are price-cautious and prefer experiences where you have a chance to meet people and make acquaintances to enjoy the wonder together. You are not picky and you can accommodate the most affordable, adventurous, genuine experience.

To make the persona more specific and get a better grasp of his or her expectations towards the trip, I created the following information

Anna, 24 y/o, from Stuttgart/Germany.
- She’ll finish her studies in six months and is excited about her first backpacking trip, it’s her first time outside of Europe (!)
- Saved up some money but hey, you ever heard of a rich student?
- Will stay in Peru for a month to really get to know the country and also have time to make memories with new friends
- wants to be adventurous but still see the famous sights; only wants to pre-book the first two days around Machu Picchu at the beginning of her trip;

Specifics of the destination: Flight from Stuttgart to Cuzco; free visa for 90 days; local currency is Sol (S/) which is around 30 cents; hot weather


→ 2. Do a Heuristics evaluation of three different apps

As she wants to travel low-cost, there will be various apps to compare data from in order to find the cheapest option. Therefore, I will compare Skyscanner, Kayak and Tripadvisor in terms of flight options and accomodation.

The following Heuristics evaluation (based on Jakob Nielsen’s Heuristics) is based on the search for flights from Stuttgart, Germany to Cuzco, Peru; followed by looking up cheap accommodation for the first two nights in Cuzco.

After this evaluation I decided to conduct a Usability test based on Kayak, as it was outstanding on its simple design and usability, easily guiding a new user through the screens. Note: all three apps are redirecting the user to external platforms in order to book the flights, they don’t provide the service on the app. Without the given websites, I would search for apps that include the “booking” option for a comparison to the given apps.


→ 3. Do a Usability Test with three users

After conducting interviews with three users I got the following results: All three users did not know that the app is Kayak, as the name was missing from the first screen. Besides that, all three identified the app as being related to travels (specifically booking a hotel, a flight and a rental car). Two of them commented on the catchy orange color in which the app is designed. One specifically pointed out the simplicity of the App and that it seems easy to work with.

Next, I gave them the persona information, to continue with the interview. After watching them click through the app, I recognized that everyone started their search on the “search” rubric. None of the three tried using the “trips” or “explore” tap. When I asked them afterwards for the reasons, they did not see the need to have a closer lock at the options at the bottom of the screen.

Summarizing the results from the interview, I identified the following pain points:

  1. No home button /home screen
  2. Filter for flights is hard to recognize
  3. Pre-View of hotels on the bottom of the “search” tap are confusing instead of helpful. The “backpacker” users did not see the match between their needs (living on a budget) and the options displayed
  4. When searching for accommodation, the users did not know what Kayak’s “recommendations” are based upon

I redesigned some screens which are useful for the given persona and came up with the following prototype. Users are now able to start from a home screen. The given categories show the link to the new home bar (so they can recognize it later and use the App better). On every screen the user can always reset thesearch and go back to the home screen. Also when looking up flights or accommodation, the user can (but does not have to) chose from categories as “cheapest” etc. When having the overview of accommodation or flights, filters can be found on the top of the screen now. The “for inspiration” category links to a map with cheap flight options (incl. filters etc).

In detail, the designed paths are the following three options:

  • Start at home screen, click “For those with a plan”, click the search button
  • Start at home screen, click “flights”, click the search button
  • Start at home screen, click “For inspiration”

Thank you for taking your time to walk through this experience with me. I really enjoyed the exercise as I could get a grasp of what future work could look like and use a lot of my knowledge and ideas to get the job done.

Amelie Nicklas

Written by

Newbie to UX/UI Design, studying @Ironhack. Thoughts surrounding lifestyle, food and culture. Currently exploring #holisticnutrition and #TCM.

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