Booking.com iOS app iteration concept

I was asked what improvements I would make to make the user experience more intuitive and rewarding.

Discovery and Definition

I focused on the mobile app and my hypothesis was that if the user interface inspired a user to explore a city and filtering was as simple and intuitive as possible, that would lead to high conversions to customers.

Design

Users need to be inspired and shown all the wonderful places there are to visit. Photography can show this better than text, so I designed a new homepage that inspires the user of places they could go to. Search is in an intuitive location, so they can start interacting with the app and links that were in a ‘hamburger’ menu have been elevated to all show in one view.

The second view shows clearly that the user is searching for a place to stay in ‘Amsterdam’ — and this can be easily changed. Showing it this way places the results in context, whereas before you could miss which city you were searching in (not good for business users who book multiple places in one visit).

I added an icon in the top right to show that you could show the results in a Map view. Existing functionality, but clumsy interaction. The wish list functionality was also elevated to this view, whereas in the current app — it was in the hotel description view.

Another subtle improvement was that, in the current app, the hotel photo showed the exterior of the hotel. This does nothing to tell the user what the room will look like — something I’ve addressed in this design.

The existing way to select filters wasn’t very visual or compact. I’ve made the primary input a search box, with filters to allow the user to narrow down the detail. Using icons and price range sliders make the essentially form-filling exercise more pleasurable to the user.

Even simple improvements such as using a calendar view to change the date would make the app drastically more intuitive than the current dropdown method.

Retrospective

While this project was done as a concept, I feel that I achieved what I set out to. My designs showed how a more emotive design could encourage users to discover more, how a more visual filter could be more engaging and intuitive and improving the usability could indeed improve conversion through the addition of the Wishlist feature and clearer index pages.

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