May was another month full of activity and hard work.
As always, we want to communicate our progress with you in the form of a monthly report and thus be as transparent as possible.
Let’s start with where the most has happened, the marketplace.
In May, user experience developments have been in full swing. Being one of the most notable improvements, we have completed our work on the new UI design prototype for the LT marketplace.
The new design features high information density without making it look too loaded. We have carefully planned and though through each and every button/element, taking into account multiple factors such as functionality, visual appeal and effectiveness in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) to name a few.
Towards the midst of May, we shared the prototype with our community and asked for feedback and suggestions.
The design got an overall score of 8.6 out of 10, which gave us the confidence to proceed with the implementation (see results).
At that time we presented you examples of 5 selected marketplace sections. Since then we have completed the prototypes for 100% of the remaining site templates (including all sub-sections).
The prototypes for the mobile and tablet versions have also been fully developed and passed internal approval.
Work on the new UI front-end coding has started immediately after approval. During this process, front-end developers slice the raw designs into HTML and then integrate it with the front-end framework (ReactJS), which is being used for our marketplace.
So far we have managed to fully code the “Homepage”, the “Hotel search results” page and the “Flight search results” page, which make up approximately 40% to 50% of the total work. Those particular pages are currently going through Quality Assurance (QA) while the rest of the pages are being sliced and coded in parallel.
Working in parallel quickens the process and allows us to follow a close feedback loop. For this purpose we have setup a new dedicated server.
Regarding the new inventory integration, we have completed 100% of the work on our side and initiated the certification process with the new hotel providers. While this process is beyond our control (depends on the speed of our partners), we are making sure we don’t lose any valuable time by working on other features.
A recent breakthrough allowed for a massive optimization of our search architecture, which will make the search experience significantly faster. With this new architecture even the heaviest location searches will be completed within 15 seconds. This is a massive improvement to the current state, where some searches take up to a minute to fully load.
Additionally, we were also able to eliminate the delays when a user clicks on a given hotel to execute a booking. Basically all subsequent pages after the search will be loading instantly.
→ Will be deployed together with the new inventory
Search by Hotel Name
We have also initiated work on enabling dynamic search according to hotel names. Currently, searches are limited to cities and countries. The option to filter for hotel names appears only after the search has been completed.
The new feature will allow you to search directly with the hotel name. Typing “Hilton” will then give you suggestions like “Hilton London”, “Hilton Paris” or “Hilton Vienna”.
In addition, we have removed the minimum cancellation fee of 20% that applied to fully refundable hotels. The mechanism was meant to protect our marketplace from abuse, however it turned out that it also limits booking behavior. We will therefore be taking different paths of protection.
Additional bug fixes and stability improvements have been made as a continuous process.
Regarding the mobile apps, we have debugged the filtering issue which caused “0 results” for some of our users. It will be shipped together with a massive upgrade that is pending final approval by our developers. We will share more detailed information regarding that upgrade in a separate article.
In May we upgraded the LT wallet from version 0.16 to 0.17 and have since released also 0.17.1 and 0.17.2. These updates include hundreds of bug fixes and improvements from Bitcoin Core. We resolved the synchronization issue for many of our users and are now in the phase of fine tuning some parameters to ensure no forks occur.
We have almost completed the rebuild process of the explorer backend. Once it is ready we will connect it with the existing front-end from the previous version, which will be a straightforward process.
We have started the research work on the decentralized database and the economy that will accompany it. While all of this is at its very infancy, we are confident to be on the right track. This part of LockTrip will be very exciting, as it marks the core of our project and bring in true decentralization.
However, please hold back your excitement yet. We want to emphasize that our current focus lies fully on the LT Marketplace and the LT Chain.
— Your LockTrip Team
LockTrip is the first marketplace with 0% commission where you can save on average 20% on your hotel and rental bookings compared to anywhere else. Read how to buy LOC tokens here!