User Experience in the Travel and Tourism Industry - Ucd2013 conference talk by Chris Rourke

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One of the great ironies of the web is that researching and booking a relaxing holiday can be one of the most stressful things you can do online. Before you can flop yourself on a beach in a far-away …

One of the great ironies of the web is that researching and booking a relaxing holiday can be one of the most stressful things you can do online. Before you can flop yourself on a beach in a far-away clime you need to consider and navigate through a choice of options that all begin to look the same and hope that you get through the long booking process without making a critical mistake.
We have worked with airlines, luxury hotel chains and regional tourism bodies performing usability testing, user needs research and iterative user centred design. We’ve seen and heard usability test participants do everything from looking dreamily at gorgeous foreign beach hotels to clenching their fists in frustration at barriers they hit booking their flight. We’d like to share these experiences with you and identify what are the key elements that make or break the user experience in researching, booking and managing travel & leisure online. This talk will cover
 The psychology of booking travel : known unknowns and unknown unknowns
 Primary and secondary choice parameters in travel, tourism and leisure
 Typical barriers in researching and booking travel
 The role of mobile UX in the complete travel customer experience
 Innovative ways of presenting information for the travel & leisure context
 International aspects – what works for one audience may not work for another

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  • 1. Session A5 Chris Rourke Make it easy to take it easy : User experience in the Travel, Tourism and Leisure industry chris@uservision.co.uk @crourke @uservision @ucduk #ucd2013 Supporters Sponsors Organiser 1
  • 2. What the user expects 2
  • 3. ..and more pages for payment 3
  • 4. The UX challenge for travel, tourism & leisure  Travel is emotional - expectations are high     Relaxation Entertainment – self & family Service Catering for special circumstances  Travel booking is complex - many parties involved  Flight operations & parameters  Third parties & partners  Site and booking process may not be fully controlled 4
  • 5. 5
  • 6. Control, confidence and come back  High  Medium  Low 6
  • 7. Main usability and UX challenge areas  First impressions  Workflow of the search & book process  Page level interactions       7 IA and categorisation Search Date selector Form interactions Smart defaults Geolocation (mobile)
  • 8. Choice Parameters - flights Secondary parameters Loyalty points Service level Connections Date/ time Price 8
  • 9. Choice Parameters – hotels, holidays, leisure Location Date Price 9 Secondary parameters Quality, Service level Room size Images Facilities (gym etc) Restaurants Kids? Loyalty points Accessibility Dietary needs
  • 10. Workflow – Flights Previously  Put in some info  And some more  And more to specify  Press submit  Scroll through huge results list  Start again or revise Not in control 10 Now  Put in little info  Submit  See the results  Filter & refine In control & confident
  • 11. Workflow – Hotels, holidays & leisure  Offer options to let customer learn & decide by what matters to them  Price – location – hotel – room  Hotel – price – room     11 Location information Inspiring photos Clear differences between room options Facilities
  • 12. Browsers Browsers Not sure what they want Seek inspiration as much as information Open minded Visuals and offers 12
  • 13. Hunters Hunters Know roughly what they want Compare and contrast to convince Analytical Use sort and compare tools 13
  • 14. Buyers Buyers Know exactly what they want Get it as quickly as possible Speed and minimal distractions Use search 14
  • 15. First impressions matter 15
  • 16. First Impressions Count 16
  • 17. 17
  • 18. 18
  • 19. Simple Date Selector 19
  • 20. Welcome indecision and offer options 20
  • 21. Welcome indecision and offer options 21
  • 22. Allow graceful revelations and previews 22
  • 23. Allow graceful revelations and previews 23
  • 24. Innovate & exceed expectations 24
  • 25. Innovate & simplify 25
  • 26. Innovate & simplify 26
  • 27. Take advantage of maps 27
  • 28. Satisfice your customer 28
  • 29. Satisfice your customer If no results, query relaxation allows me to choose options slightly outside my original search. www.newzealand.com. 29
  • 30. Be Persuasive  Reciprocity – If you do something for them (offer a discount, give a free sample, add in an optional extra) people are more likely to do something for you  Commitment and Consistency – If people commit in writing to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honour that commitment. So the more people type in details, the more invested they are in proceeding  Social Proof – If other people are doing it, people become much more confident that they too are doing the right thing  Authority – People will tend to obey authoritative figures. These can be classic authority figures, celebrities, or official ratings and scales  Liking – People are easily persuaded by people “just like me”, as demonstrated by the power of viral marketing 30  Scarcity – If something is short supply, or time-limited supply, it will generate demand and pressure to buy in case you lose out on a bargain
  • 31. Persuasion in Action (2) Reciprocity 31 Commitment and Consistency Social Proof Authority Liking Scarcity
  • 32. Be honest 32
  • 33. Be mobile  Mobile is the glue for the user experience  Can make – or break experience  Allow customisation in settings  Usual airport  Usual payment card  Usual seat etc 33
  • 34. UX Research for the sector  Recruit specifically for credibility  Experience - What people bring with them is important  More “let off the leash” tests – let the user set their own parameters  Remote  moderated testing  self moderated testing  unmoderated testing  A/B & Multivariate testing for conversion funnels 34
  • 35. Content & journey inventory Chart describes a typical research journey and where the information needs are met INFORMATION NEED Price        Weather        Latest deals?        What is included in price?        How does XXXXX compare?        What is there to do for kids?        What is there to do locally?        What’s new with XXXXX ?        Special deals for customers?        35
  • 36. Key takeaways      36 Recognise – and foster – the emotional aspect of travel Discover your target users’ parameters Let the user play by their own rules, be in control Allow previews, avoid pogosticks Research in context
  • 37. Thank you Chris Rourke Managing Director 0131 225 0850 chris@uservision.co.uk @uservision @crourke www.uservision.co.uk 37