Re-designing the Marina Bay Sands website
Curating the ultimate Marina Bay Sands experience.
As the fourth project of the UXDI course, we were given a project that would improve the MBS website navigation, create an online integration of the various services that are offered in Marina Bay Sands and improve the hotel booking experience.
This project was treated as a ‘pitch’ to MBS, so the solution proposal was made to be concise. If awarded, this project would be slated to have 6 months. Together with Ridzwan Haron and Koh Khai Liang, we created the faux-agency BBNNP (don’t ask what it stands for) and enacted the roles of UX Researcher and Designer.
The predetermined goals for the business were:
- Increase the number of hotel bookings
- Increase the number of Sands Membership sign-ups
- Increase the awareness and bookings of other MBS attractions
- Revitalise the brand by improving visuals and User Experience
Through interviews, user testings and heuristic/feature analyses several key issues have been uncovered for the website:
- Users felt overwhelmed with the amount of information on the website
- Users had difficulty in finding certain information on the website
- Users felt that most of the text on the website were too small and it was hard to read
The project consisted of a few key steps into arriving at our proposal solution:
- Gaining insights through user testing of the current website and interviewing users of their various experiences with previous MBS visits/luxury hotel stays
- Heuristic/Feature Analysis of current website, to find out where parts of the website could be improved, and also comparing it to other competitors’ websites
- Researching and establishing key Personas established from User Research and contextual studies of Marina Bay Sands
- Establishing a revamped Content Strategy to meet the needs of the Persona in focus, as well as to improve overall information structure of the website
- Generate a proposed Prototype for Web and Mobile that conveys the research and proposed Content Strategy as well as to demonstrate a solution for a revamped hotel booking experience
To guide our processes, our team decided to come up with a key objective statement for the project:
To provide a better and integrated online user experience, we will provide a user-centred, task-oriented support that delivers a great MBS experience.
Our team conducted a Usability Test for the existing MBS website. This test included testing users on the experiences of (1) Booking a Hotel Room (2) Booking a Show Ticket (3)Finding a Restaurant and making a reservation (4)Finding packages that could combine different services together.
By comparing the homepages of the current MBS website with a potential competitor website, The Venetian in Las Vegas, several visual heuristics were addressed that could be affecting the current MBS website experience.
Establishing Key Personas
Based on the target audiences (tourists and families) highlighted in the brief and users whom we have interviewed and tested on, we established three key personas for this project. These personas’ requirements were the key motivators to the redesign of the website.
The Persona chosen to be focused on was the Hartono Family as it covered the majority of needs from both the business (eg. Hotel Booking, integrating different MBS services) and the user (Enjoying themselves on holiday).
Plotting the User Journey of the Hartonos ensures that every step in their customer journey is aligned to the goals of the website redesign as well as part of the bigger picture, the optimum customer experience at Marina Bay Sands.
As one of the goals were to revitalise the MBS brand, a clear Content Strategy is required. There were several issues at hand with the current MBS website that were also highlighted during the usability testing sessions:
- Content was difficult to understand (Membership benefits)
- Content was not organised properly, hence navigation was not easy (The difference in member benefits of the Shopper and Casino)
- Error messages were unclear: Some users were notified that rooms which they wanted to book during a selected date was unavailable, however they could still proceed with booking
These are just some with which was uncovered during the limited study of usability testing.
Our Content Strategy does not only seek to fix the current issues, but is catered to fit the overall experience and revitalisation of the website. Some clear goals for the content would be:
- Emphasise and drive customers to make bookings at the hotel
- Motivate customers to make bookings of other services
- Clarify the membership benefits for the shopper and the casino
Content Strategy would also require a team (Junior Writer, Senior Writer, Editor) and a workflow, this will consist of the steps: Plan, Create, Review, Approve, Publish and Maintain.
We proposed this project to run along the Agile methodology, as we decided that it would reduce the level of risks as well as to keep the clients well-informed on the status of the project. Within the 6 months timeline, 6 sprints will be planned, with 2 concurrent teams, Discovery and Development. One team to handle all research and stakeholder engagement, while the other will be focused on producing prototypes and usability testing.
The overall team structure of the project will consist of Management, Advisory and Project Tiers.
Proposed Project Timeline
Here are the proposed prototypes that our team has come up with. They currently revolve around the Hotel Bookings service as that was one of the main proposed solutions for the client.
Working together with the same group members again, it has its advantages and disadvantages. We felt that we tend to rely on each other’s strengths more often than it was helpful. However, I did learn alot working with Ridzwan Haron and Koh Khai Liang.
- This project seemed to be more challenging than the last one, but it has made me realise the intricacies of pitching a UX project, from research to pitch.
- When pitching a project, we should have also considered presenting content for the other personas, as clients would want to know how other users will be interacting with their site.