This case study was conducted to re-evaluate the hotel details page. I wanted to take a fresh look at what information was important to users, and what were their triggers in deciding between two hotels.
I created a user questionnaire that focused on the user once they got a search result query. From there, I asked a multitude of questions about what the user was looking for and what motivated them to look at certain hotels. Furthermore, the answers showed what was most important to a user at what stage of the booking they were at.
· Location is only a factor at the early stages of looking for a hotel
· In a certain price zone, finding the highest quality is the most enjoyable
· “Look”, “Style”, “Feel” were the biggest movers for users to choose a room
· A picture of a room is more important than a description of the room
· Users would rather have a better styled room than a larger room
This data provided some answers, but I also recognized that I should have used “rank of importance” in some cases instead of multiple choice. This would have given me more data to look at.
I analyzed 10 different competitor apps and cross-referenced them with the results from my questionnaires. Travelocity did a good job by showing added value to hotels by having certain tags on hotels. Priceline did a good job at showing the location and the exact time from your search location. Trip Advisor had the best display of images for a user to easily access certain photos instead of having to search through all of them to finally get to a picture of the hotel gym, for example.
Here are three personas that I used:
1. The business traveler who bases their decisions on distance from hotel and meetings with business amenities in mind.
2. The family traveler who takes one or two big family trips a year, values kids’ activities at a hotel and is budget conscious.
3. The third persona is the business and leisure mixer. This traveler might lengthen or extend their business trip to last a weekend and loves to travel to new places and meet new people. They value lodging options, cost, and local experiences.
The problems that I wanted to solve were:
1. Allowing this area to be usable but not competing with the main elements on this page.
2. Giving this a bigger selling point to the actual property and providing a quick link to more images.
3. Organizing the elements in this component area to allow a user to easily distinguish scannable information.
4. For amenity icons, if the icon itself cannot be easily distinguishable, why have twice the data? By removing the icon, we are limiting the visual noise a user must process.
5. Adding a “rooms” title for this section and connecting hotel policy with hotel description. This allows the user to quickly see rooms when they land on this screen.
6. Once the user scrolls past the image, the toolbar goes from transparent to white and the property name is displayed while the search results fade out and move to an icon.
7. Adding value to a certain room is a great promotional tool to call attention to certain details at certain hotels. This should be used sparingly, knowing that if you give the marketing team an inch, they will surely take a mile.
8. Allowing the user to swipe through images without going into another view.
A lot of the times were so busy with fulfilling the business requirements (there are always too many) that we forget about the user and what they are wanting or looking for. Doing research before the wire phase is vital in setting a clear picture and requirement. Too often we are on version three of high-fidelity wires adding in things that were missed in the research phase because this phase was never done or inadequately completed. Just like a house, the stronger the research that is done, the stronger the foundation is in which your design sits upon.