Travel Booking User Experience Study

What would happen if we found an easier and faster way of booking hotel stays?

 

Meet Elijah Davis

Man with Blue Sweater

Elijah Davis

User Persona

Elijah is a business consultant for a large firm in Virginia. He is constantly on the road to work out new business deals and provide the best service for his clients and his company.


Elijah is responsible for booking his own trips, which can be time consuming given the amount of work on his plate. Elijah needs a quick and reliable way to book his next stay within budget that provides good amenities for a reasonable price.

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Target audience - Busy young adult travelers with little or some booking experience.

Goals:

  • Find a quick and reliable way to book his next trip within budget

  • Find a place that has good amenities for the price

  • Find transportation options within the area

Frustrations:

  • Long process to book a hotel stay

  • Busy work schedule preventing time to work out the details

  • Worried about a poor hotel stay in the city

 

Problem Statement

Elijah Davis needs a way to quickly and easily book his hotel stay because it takes too much time and effort searching online and making comparisons to find the best value for the price.

 
Business Meeting

Interviews

  • Age 20-30

  • Some Travel Experience

  • Uses Smartphone

  • Has booked a trip within a year

 
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Affinity Mapping

To further prove this statement, I interviewed a handful of young adults with little or some travel booking experience, and through Affinity Mapping, I found that people really want a travel booking application that is ‘Easy-to-use’. They typically booked their travels after hopping across multiple websites, making comparisons, checking prices, filtering out options, and making sure it’s available. This process takes time and some were worried that they may not be getting the best hotel for the price they were paying. They also wanted to find a place that was cheap and affordable, but still gave them a nice room to stay in for the price. Which brings the second user need to be ‘Best Value’, where the user is able to find a place to stay that is of quality value and service at an affordable price.

 

Hypothesis

We believe that by creating an app that provides instant access to the best places for the best price for Elijah Davis, we will achieve a quick and easy way to book the best hotels for him. We will know this to be true when our persona books hotels using this app and rates and reviews their experience.

 

Affinity App

The next greatest travel booking app for young travelers. With instant search results geared towards your preferences, and a fun user interface, this app will make booking quicker and easier for our users.


Quickly book your next stay with:

  • Easy Search Filtering

  • Best hotel results personally picked for you

  • Hotel Price matching

  • Fun, Interactive User Interface

 
 
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Feature Prioritization

Using Feature Prioritization, users need features that fall under the HIGHEST IMPACT and EXPECTED quarter section. These features are ones that users are expected to find within the app and are necessary for booking a hotel. Features likely to be added in future editions may include those in the HIGHEST IMPACT and UNEXPECTED quarter section. These would be things that could help the user in their booking process and are innovative compared to competitors. They may make the user experience even more enjoyable. Those in the LOWEST IMPACT half are likely to be added further down the road, but not anytime soon and may be weeded out to see which features are likely to add any value to the product. We will cover the primary needs later on in this presentation.

 

MVP

Raising the Bar

Hotel Price

Lists out the price for their stay so the user knows how much to pay. This is a big factor for users when it comes to finding an affordable option and deals on prices.

Hotel Star Rating

Can give an inference as to the quality of the hotel, as per the Hotel Inspector’s rating. This gives the user an idea for what type of hotel stay they can expect and if they will be comfortable during their stay.

Hotel Location

Gives them the address of the hotel so they know where they will be staying and can use that for further planning (to find out how close it is to other things in the area such as restaurants or business clients).

Hotel Images

provide the user with a visual representation of the layout and provide the user a level of aesthetic appeal to determine if they like the room or not. This one helps the user to determine not only is the hotel functional, reliable, and usable, but also if it’s pleasurable. Does it appeal to the user? No one wants to stay in a dingy, windowless, white-walled hotel room.

Amenities

provide the user with an idea of extra add-ons they can expect to making their experience more pleasing during their stay. It can also give them insight for what not to pack. For instance, if they provide towels and shampoo, the user can know not to pack those things if they so choose and rely on the amenities included in their purchase.

Search by Date Availibility

Filtering by date can let the user know which hotel rooms are available during that allotted time. No one wants to book a hotel outside the time they plan to be there.

Search by Number Persons

If the user knows the number of people accompanying them on their stay, they can enter in the number of guests and it can help narrow down the selection for hotel room options.

Filter Search

Use a search filter with multiple filters for finding the right hotel that users want with certain features, amenities, quality, price and more.

Favorite Hotels

This is a feature that some sites have included where you can save your preferences in your account online and look to again later.


The way I hope to use this feature is when a user is given a selection, they can either choose to continue searching and reject this hotel option or they can accept this option as a possibility and add it to their Favorite Hotels. From there, they can view all their Favorite Hotels and choose from that selection to then continue the booking process. This feature is very similar to that of the dating app “Bumble”, where users can choose to swipe left or right on a person they may or may not be interested in. If swiped left, the person disappears and you cannot go back to view them and you continue with the next person. If swiped right, and the user matches with the person, that person gets saved to a list of people they matched with and can continue to potentially start a conversation with that match. Bumble is a good example of an Analogous competitor where we can learn from their process in matching people with people and can take that process in matching people with hotels. Other Contiguous competitors would display lists of results, often times not even the best results up front, and a user would feel overwhelmed by the long list. But if we approach it with Bumble’s method of showing one at a time, the user can decide if they like what they see and whether or not it fully meets their needs. If Bumble is successful in getting users a quick and easy way to meet people and see options available, then we can take that method and implement it with hotel searching. Providing a one after another search approach. It will help users to quickly see a result and determine if they like it or not, if so they can easily provide their payment information and book their hotel. Simple, quick, and easy.

Pay with Credit Card

Users also need to pay for their stay before they can finalize the booking process. The most popular and main form of payment is through credit card, so it is a necessary feature to have a credit card payment feature included.

Contact Hotel via Phone

Contacting the Hotel is also very important for any questions the user may have (before and after booking). So providing them with a number to contact the hotel is highly recommended if not highly expected by the user.

 
 

Constraints

Technological:

  • Gathering all the necessary hotel data

Cost:

  • Releasing the app on Android &/or Apple Stores

Timing:

  • Not releasing this outside the Dating app Fad

 
 
 

Prototype

InVision

InVision provides a great way to practically test the MVP before building a fully functioning product. It’s the final test before any release.

Users were able to tap, swipe, and hold the phone in their hands as if they were actually using a real application. This is valuable for understanding how our users will be interacting with the application in the future.

 

Projects

Some pros and cons were found through this final test.

Pros were the layout, easy and intuitive navigation, the “Favorite” feature for viewing hotels at a later time for booking.

Cons included suggesting better terminology for ‘Booked Stays’ and forgetting the Swiping feature.

A lot of the interviewees proposed additional feature suggestions that they found would be a nice addition or helpful for easier use of the application. This insight gave me a better idea for future releases of this product and how the experience can be made more impactful for the user while also standing out further from the competitors.

Interviewee #1

Interviewee #2

Interviewee #3

 

Future Features

  • Direct contact with hotel

  • Better sub navigational instructions on home page

  • Travel Options

 

Hotel Booking Made Easy

Why have it any other way?!

In conclusion, Affinity app will provide the user with a quick and easy to use hotel booking experience unlike any other hotel booking application out there. If you don’t book using this application, people like Elijah will continue to spend too much time searching and not enough time enjoying their experience. Thanks!

 
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©2020 by Haley Bengtson