Booking a Hotel

Project type

My role

Tools

Process

Final Project

University College Dublin

Student in UX Design

Figma

Miro

Competitive analysis

Persona

User testing

User journey

User flow

Wire framing

Prototyping

Overview

Background

Whether it’s for pleasure, work, or other, travel is an important part of our lives. A vital part of travel is figuring out accommodation. While there is no shortage of places to stay, there is a lingering labor shortage: an AHLA survey of hoteliers indicated 79% had a staffing shortage, 22% of which deemed it severe. Providing an easy and secure way to book a hotel gives users one less thing to worry about and gives the limited hotel-staff more time to tend to their responsibilities with less interferences of questions from visitors.

How can we improve the experience of booking a hotel?

Competitive Analysis

I began by researching popular hotel-booking platforms on mobile:

Key Findings

  • Use of metaphors: icons to represent hotels, wifi, pets, dining, etc. 
  • Visual Hierarchy:  highlights most important elements (ie. costs and dates)
  • Recognition rather than recall: dropdown menu as users type in location
  • Software is interested in user: suggestions based on location and past preferences; personalization (greeting user by name)
  • Feedback loop: booking review and confirmation
  • Progressive disclosure: information broken down to make more digestible

User Testing

After analyzing the various hotel-booking apps, I observed someone reserve a room in real time.

Key Findings

  • Disliked having no choice but to create an account to use app, even before getting an idea of the interface. 
  • Too much information at once made it feel overwhelming (ie. long list of amenities that weren’t necessary for user)
  • Wanted to have better idea of location in relation to the attractions of the city. 
  • Found it difficult to know which hotels fit all the aspects she was looking for (ie. pet-friendly, transportation, vegan-options)

User Journey

Key Findings

  • User felt distracted by pop-ups and advertisements
  • Disappointed by lack of options
  • Appreciated being able to set filters
  • Displaying overview of booking details before payment let user feel assured before paying

Tracking the experience of someone booking a hotel room on a mobile app.

User Persona

I created a user persona to begin defining the problem from the perspective of an average traveler.

Sam Stapleton

Age

Location

Marital Status

Dependents

Occupation

Salary

30 years old

Washington D.C.

Single

1 dog

Retail Manager

$50k

Motivations

  • Loves to travel to new places
  • Enjoys visiting museums and local coffee shops
  • Has a tight budget
  • Likes to bring her dog with her if she can

Frustrations

  • Loves to travel to new places
  • Enjoys visiting museums and local coffee shops
  • Has a tight budget
  • Likes to bring her dog with her if she can

Value Proposition

Problem Statement

Traveling people want to be efficient with their time in looking for and booking a hotel room with ease and assurance so it’s one less thing to worry about during their trip.

User Flow

With the problem statement in mind, I organized a way for how booking a hotel could be more efficient. Looking back on this now, I did not have to focus on the log in or creating an account, especially since that was a frustration point for users. The project was to solely focus on the booking process, so in hindsight, I should have gone into more detail on the latter half of this diagram. 

Sketching

I sketched out how the screens might look based on the user flow, user insights, and conventions (as seen in the competitive analysis). 

I thought of how I could make it so the user gets to their main objective as efficiently as possible.

Wireframing

I made a mid-fi prototype, tested it by having someone pretend to book a hotel room through it. I received feedback and made changes accordingly:

I changed the button and font sizes because they were not easily clickable.         A review page was added to let users see what other visitors thought of the space, which could help them feel better in their decision-making process before booking. Adding brighter colors and imagery also improved the user experience.

Takeaways

Reflecting

  • Understand the Design Process: This was my first UX project and taking a step back now that it’s over, I recognize the ways I could have made this a better product. I did not understand the importance of having a strategy and that the design phases (research, define, ideate, prototype) were building blocks. I could have gone much deeper in the research and spent more time in ideation before beginning the prototyping. I now recognize the importance of having the research guide the design — understanding the user’s experience and how to make it better.

 

  • Study User Interface: Things I thought as obvious were, and are, not always as obvious as they seem. Things like being aware of the placement of buttons, the size of text, complimentary colors that are easy on the eyes, etc. As someone who appreciates the beauty and functionality of things, I came to understand the reasonings and thoughts that go behind all the details that most of us don’t even think about on a day-to-day basis.

 

  • Recognize the Importance of Testing: I only tested a couple times but wish I had tested more to get more insight on pain-points and what to make changes to. In future projects, I will be sure to get more data from users to be able to recognize and work off stronger patterns to make a more useful change. Looking back on this project now, I could have asked users for their priorities and preferences in filters and narrowed down to more specific user needs (the paradox of specificity).

Looking ahead

  • Conduct further usability testing !
  • Gather more data on the hotel-booking process
  • A / B testing to finalize user experience
  • Work on the User Interface of the app