UX Case Study | One Touch Digital Key

Kyle Bridges
4 min readJan 8, 2018


Digital Key One-touch was a project brought to us by business to update the Digital Key used in the Hilton Honors app. There are two major states in which a user is using the Hilton Honors app: The In-Stay Experience and the Search and Booking. In the In-Stay Experience, a user has access to multiple resources from the app which vary from property and account tier level. One of these resources is the ability to unlock your door from the app, known as the Digital Key. The new ask from business was to offer a solution that provided the user with the digital key that resided on every screen that a user could be using during their In-Stay Experience, while still retaining the current requirements.

First Level Priorities:

· Open nearest door

· See what doors are in range

Second Level Priorities:

· See all doors I can open

· How-to-guide

· Hide/Show room number

The Objectives of this Case Study:

· Research possible solutions and familiar user-friendly interactions

· Conduct testing to uncover issues

· Propose design solutions and validate them

· Understand the FAB solution and its real-world affects


Following the human-centered design, I started off from the Ideate part, with the Analysis and Define work being done by other members on my team. This road map allowed me to focus on my scope and deliverables, and provide our whole team with a solid foundation while setting expectations.


Based on our Personas, the three main groups of people that we were working with included:

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.

Use Cases and Prioritized Flows

Based on our research conducted on our current Digital Key experience, the four use cases are shown in the above images. The use cases that we will focus on for the One-touch experience is the Quick Access Test and the user going to their room. For the Quick Access Test, we will determine if user can access multiple “In-Stay” resources in the app while still having access to the digital key. The second is the user main function of arriving at the property and going to their room. These prioritized flows allow us to specifically test our designs to deliver prototypes that answer business objectives.


It was important to find a solution that was not only familiar to android users, but something that followed Google’s extensive material design guidelines. After a careful look through of material design guidelines and analyzing the applications of these elements’ top-rated apps from Google who implemented the design system, I was able to conclude that using the FAB would be the best result. From the research and requirements, I was able to craft three solutions to be tested, each using the FAB as a starting and main element.(only two solutions shown below)


The testing on the three variations were done with a small user sample to test our major flow cases to affirm our designs, or fix major flaws before we delved into error states and edge cases. From the testing, done by our wonderful information architect Chris Dykas, the conclusions were:

· Simplified messaging, and prioritizing users’ need-to-knows

· Consolidation of loading and looking for doors’ states for the actual DK

· Greater reliance on animation to convey the waiting state for DK


From the testing we narrowed our designs to two prototypes. By providing animation to the actions and simplifying the messaging and labeling of each state that the DK was at, we were able to simplify the journey that the user would experience through the prioritized user flows.


After providing the prototypes and building them in InVision for further testing, business decided to back off on introducing and changing our DK experience in such a drastic way. However, through this process and the insights and knowledge that we gained, we were able to refine our current DK system for current and future implementations which we will have down the road.

Kyle Bridges