If Only I Could Create the Perfect Travel Website (2008)


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If Only I Could Create the Perfect Travel Website (2008)

  1. 1. If only I could make theperfect travel website Jason Till, Digital Production Director, Designate
  2. 2. It would• Know what I like • Alert me • – e.g. architecture, kite surfing, good • via a widget, gadget, or RSS feed food – and make suggestions when a deal which was relevant to me• Provide believable reviews appeared • from people like me • Know my budget• Have multimedia • but know when I’d be prepared to break it. • - a short video documentary of the • Know where I lived destination. IPIX and photo gallery• Show me an interesting events calendar • and be able to calculate the price of my train ticket to the airport and • which could be personalised to me compare this with different airport and integrate with my Outlook diary locations and the total holiday cost• Give me a map-driven itinerary • Provide group travel functionality • with local transport information which I • (which could integrate with Facebook). could download using to my mobile • Have a “wish list / shortlist” device, display on a map and share with other people by bluetoothing it to • which other people could login to and them – with GPS see and add to.• Be beautiful to look at • Be easy to use • Never break
  3. 3. There’s no such thing as the perfect travel website- but most of the functionality I’ve mentioned already exists across a number of them
  4. 4. Legacy systems canconstrain how travel sites work But you still have a lot of control over brand (selling, imagery) and usability
  5. 5. Today• A quick anatomy lesson• Audience research – what this tells us about what people want• The importance of the brand and communication• The (broken) customer journey• Some dos and don’ts• Building blocks you need, process and specialist skills
  6. 6. A basic anatomylesson
  7. 7. Basic anatomy of a home page Clearly-placed contact number Brand logo Hero shot with dealsSearch PromosNewsletterregistration Listed deals / offers
  8. 8. Behind the scenes it can be complex SEO Travel search Templates Booking CRM Booking Content Destination “Selling” Inventory Weather Events UGC Guides content Sign up Content XML / Webservice XML / Webservice XML / Webservice Management RSS XML / Webservice Secure Multimedia payment Email gateway 5 3rd party 3rd party 3rd party 3rd party 4 3 2 1 Analytics 3rd party 3rd Party data 3rd party
  9. 9. What is perfect?Traveller (generic) The challenge is to tie thesePrice Location Inspiration togetherFlexibility Rich ContentChildcare Choice E-commerce DirectorExtras Fun Optimised for SEO Data captureLuxury Conversion High marginDeals Low booking latency Low click to book Low cost of maintenance Performance Easy upkeep
  10. 10. Understanding thetraveller
  11. 11. Examining Travellers’ primary motivations  Safety, security and privacy guarantees Family  Childcare motivated  Efficiency  Flexibility 26%  Control  Unknown brand  Compare/contrast Career results and details. motivated Social computing 43%  Slow-to-load Web sites Audio, video, colour  Elaborate Flash-based Virtual tours intro screens Highly impulsive –  Not enough detail excellent target for cross selling and last minute offers – RSS feeds etc. Poor design Entertainment Too much text motivated 31% Source: Forresters Technographics Q2 2007 European Benchmark Mail Study” &Designate Communications
  12. 12. Travel research is among the most popular online activity Use free Web-based email (e.g., 50% Hotmail) Research holiday destinations 50% Prepare trips online (maps, directions) 48% Read news online 46% Use IM 40% Use reference sites 39% Look up sports information 28% Base: Online Europeans leisure travellers (multiple responses accepted) Source: Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® May 2007
  13. 13. Travel dominates online leisure category usage 44% Leisure travel 11% 16% 37% Books 17% 18% 29% Event tickets 11% Researched online 13% 27% Researched online, boughtCDs/tapes/records 10% 11% offline Bought online 27% Clothing 13% 12%Music tracks (e.g., 24% 4% MP3s) 5% 24% Videos/DVDs 8% 10% Base: Online Europeans leisure travellers (multiple responses accepted) Source: Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® May 2007
  14. 14. European “Lookers and Bookers” are an elite group Offline leisure Online leisure travellers travellers Age 54 39 % Male 45% 53% Education (upper) 14% 37% Income (upper) 19% 41% # leisure trips/year 4.8 5.5 Base: Online European leisure travellers Source: Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® May 2007
  15. 15. Old customer journey
  16. 16. Life’s gettingcomplicated
  17. 17. New customer journey “Iterative Ideation” Looking Decided On location Back home a destination OR experience Travelling Travelling     experiencing sharing memories research communicating thinking about Inspiration the next trip
  18. 18. Travel sector companies aren’t as good as they could be at selling online
  19. 19. “Advertising at its worst has been killed by the Internet”*• Sites don’t differentiate brands or tailor their product offering to suit people’s needs nearly enough• Competition is still largely focussed on price and volume represented as “choice”• As the research shows, customers want more*(Maurice Saatchi)
  20. 20. emotionalResearch has shown that strongonline branding increasespurchase intent but only if thesite meets basic usabilitystandards. Rational / practical
  21. 21. Design for the emotional and rational The company I buy leisure travel from Lookers 25% Trust -online than 2/3 need All More doesnt matter as much as getting the leisure Bookers 33% reassurance absolutely lowest fare/rate travelers Staying within my budget is more important 46% More than ½ could be inspired Bookers than going to my first-choice destination 37% to spend more I will pay above-average prices for better 31% 1/3 will pay more for quality quality travel products or service 37% I will pay more for travel products that save 36% More than 1/3 people will pay extra if the site can dynamically package and the me time and hassle 41% usability is good Price is more important to me than brand 50% An interesting split – shows that people will names 50% shop around if they don’t get what they want 46% You can attempt to get 2/3 of Travel is an area in which I indulge myself 65% people to indulging themselves Base: Online Europeans leisure travellers (multiple responses accepted) Source: Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® May 2007
  22. 22. Aligning user and brand Site effectiveness – Your Site efficiency differentiation – the Your “hygiene factor” opportunity the fundamentals User Emotional Rational / practical • Adventure • Where is it? • Escape • Who do I call? • Romance • How do I get there? • Luxury • Does the site work properly? • Spa • Is it in my price range? • Nightlife • Can I get a refund? • Sport • Culture • Food Brand Image Action (brand position) (brand delivery) • Is the proposition supported by the content? • Does the site support the user goals (e.g. book / register / • E.g. if it promises the “best holidays” is this search)? backed up by a an engaging, rich / rewarding user • Is the site language easy to understand? experience? • Are the icons and graphics easy to understand? • Does multimedia and imagery support promise? • Does it meet accessibilty requirements? • Is the imagery / layout / aesthetic appealing for • Does it display and the functionalitywork in all main browsers the target audience? • Language – tone of voice, clarity, lack of jargon.
  23. 23. Get the emotional proposition right - TheCreative Brief• What’s your proposition?• What are your objectives?• What’s the market insight?• What are the consumer insights?• What’s the single most important thing to say?• Reasons to believe (compelling truths)?• What do you want them to do?• How do you want them to feel?
  24. 24. Case Study
  25. 25. From this…
  26. 26. … to creating an emotional proposition that resonateswith people’s interests• Kayaking • Gardens• Surfing • Country and• Kitesurfing coastal walks• Coasteering • Country parks• Mountain biking • Museums and galleries • Performing arts • Arts and crafts • Food and drink
  27. 27. Think about how the BBC hasrepackaged Ski Sunday• More lifestyle• More like Top Gear• Not just the racing and results• Placing normal people in the picture, not just super-athletes• More magazine-like – features on food, adventure, wildlife, trekking, training• More inclusive
  28. 28. Design for realusers
  29. 29. Get the practical / rational stuff right: apply a user-centred designapproach and achieve true usability• Design for real people • Create personas (pen portraits) and think about their objectives • Use these to help model your route through the Website• Test your assumptions with real people• Increases ROI No single rule of thumb, but… • Case studies for e-commerce sites after a usability-led redesign have seen over 100% increase in revenue. • Investment generally considered to payback 10:1• Increase transactions / purchases• Increases traffic• Retains customers• Attracts more customers• Increases user satisfaction• http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org/usability_resources/usability_in_the_real_world/ roi_of_usability.html
  30. 30. Get it working in ALL main browsers 31/1/2008 W3 Counter.com
  31. 31. Let’s look at someexamples
  32. 32. ✗Unclear proposition – no anchoring ✗Confusing / unclearBrand logo statement or strapline ✗No emotive categorisation photography RSS feeds Contact Search✗ Menu 2 Xtoo long – Promosneeds to bekept to 6 or7 items forusability List of Deals Some “inspiration” (if limited)
  33. 33. ✗ No brand positioning ✗ no strapline ✗ imagery could be better Brand logo Contact RSS feed Deals ✗ Benefits not soldSearch  Socialboo k-marking Sign up  Award Offers Inspiration
  34. 34. ✗ no positioning ✗ no strapline ✗ limited imagery ✗ no sign up ✗ no differentiation ✗ no contact SearchBrand logo Deals RSS Offers
  35. 35. Inspirational “hero shot” Clear positioning ✗Text too dense –Simple needs tonavigation be brokenmenu up Clear layout; good use of imagery
  36. 36. Inspirational “hero shot” Good anchoring statement (if wordy) and good use of imagerySimplenavigationmenu ✗no deals ✗no contact number Clear layout ✗positioning could be stronger – maybe a strapline
  37. 37. Beautiful hero shot with Excellent positioning strapline inspirational message Text resizer – good usability accessibility User generated contentClear layout anddesign
  38. 38. Beautiful hero shot with Excellent positioning strapline inspirational message ✗deals could be pushed Good inspiration /Clear selling copylayout anddesign
  39. 39. “Coffee TableWebsites”
  40. 40. Clear brand proposition Excellent positioning statement Beautiful imageryCategorisedby experience- withinspirationalcopy - it’s notall aboutprice andlocation Officiallogosinspire trust ✗even though it’s a “quality” Website, offers could be pushed
  41. 41. Clear brand proposition with Excellent positioning statement Not afraid to Beautiful imagery with simple, emotive copy sell offersAwardwinning –builds trustCategorised byexperience –moreinspirational
  42. 42. Beautiful imageryClear anchoring Emotive selling / seasonal offerstatement  Search help clearly appeals to how real users think ✗E-mail sign-up below “the fold”
  43. 43. Towards perfection
  44. 44. Shortlists
  45. 45. Gadgets and Widgets
  46. 46. Microformatshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microformats (technical). Lastminute.com’s “add to my calendar” function.
  47. 47. Expedia’s UGC rating system
  48. 48. Getting more out of mappingSearch returns further results within Results a 10 mile radius Distances from categorised by accommodation type of shown in miles experience
  49. 49. Less than perfect Functionality that fails to deliver
  50. 50. Calendars!
  51. 51. Calendars!
  52. 52. Calendars!
  53. 53. Calendars!
  54. 54. Calendars!
  55. 55. Almost perfect…
  56. 56. Errors
  57. 57. Errors
  58. 58. Errors
  59. 59. Errors
  60. 60. Any London?I want Gatwick and Heathrow NOT Stansted or Luton
  61. 61. Email sign-up problems
  62. 62. Email sign-up problems
  63. 63. Email sign-up problems
  64. 64. Getting there
  65. 65. Traditional Website MapAbout Contact Help T&Cs Home Search / Destination Deals / offers Reviews Booking results guides
  66. 66. Understanding your site within context of the customer journey will make your site work harder Inspiration Planning Share Booking Search Search Offers Experience results (detail) Group Booking travel Assistance Country form Browse pages Product (maps, pages climate, travel tips etc.) Online Call centre Promos Getting to a simple result can be complicated… Home Form Post Booking contents tour Flow to call Email Brief itin. How would centre you like to City pages book? Full itin. Maps CallbackCorporate Hotels Community T&C Jobs Press Create your Tours Photo / releases Dates own brochure Reviews reunited video gallery TelephoneGreen Openingissues hours Tell a Online Wallpapers friend Qstnre Call me User utilities Personal Insurance sales consultant Travel Currency Extras converter Your personal pages Pre holiday During holiday Post holiday Personal Family Hotel Items for Question My info sales and Day’s itin contact dist naire consultant friends details
  67. 67. Surface Visual design is late in theSkeleton process.Structure ScopeStrategy By Jesse James Garrett of Adaptive Path - http://www.jjg.net/ia/
  68. 68. How to get there Understand marketing objectives, targetaudience, benchmark the competition and Benchmarks create the proposition. and KPIs Discover Define Design Delivering the project Develop Iterate / apply learning Deliver Delivering the User Experience Surface Skeleton Structure Scope Strategy Apply to ongoing site improvement Create audience personas Testing, iterative Lifetime testing – pen portraits of people prototyping, focus groups
  69. 69. Key performance factors - usability• Is the essential content available where needed?• Is essential function available where needed?• Are category and subcategory names clear and mutually exclusive?• Does the site use language that’s easy to understand?• Does the site use graphics, icons, and symbols that are easy to understand?• Is text legible?• Are interactiveelements easily recognizable?• Does the site perform well?
  70. 70. A “recipe” for creating the perfect travel Website• Establish a clear brand proposition: differentiate • Make sure this comes through in all content – words, pictures, moving images• Get to know how people think about holidays – experience – take your top 20 destinations and re-categorise all the holidays into “experiences”• Test with real users before you commit to a final design• Think about where your Website sits in the overall customer journey and what features you can employ to extend it’s reach, and where you can push information to them, and pull them back in to create content for you.• Employ an Information / User Experience Architect (from a usability or design agency)• Keep an eye on the detail – small issues can irk big time• Make sure it works in all main browsers and doesn’t rely on Javascript• Keep benchmarking your site against others.• Keep testing your site for performance - fix it if it breaks
  71. 71. Thank you for listening jason@designate.co.uk