FIVE STAR HOTEL
To encourage guests to book directly on hotel site
Five Star Hotel's have noticed that 3rd-party services are capitalizing on discounted rates for rooms and would like to compete with them.
3rd-party services will charge a commission fee of roughly 15% -30%. (If a room is $450, the hotel will earn roughly $380) Because of that, hotels will match prices that people find online or they are more inclined to offer people upgrades, better perks or complimentary add-ons.
For this group project, I partnered with two UX designers to collect and synthesize data to address user needs. I led our team through design strategy and focused on research and visuals throughout.
I created paper prototypes and tested them through Sketch and Invision. I was able to share design ideas and iterate between user testing.
Everyone can receive an upgrade or discount if they book directly on a hotel site. So why don't people instinctually book directly with a hotel instead of third-party sites? I started with a competitive analysis to understand our competitors and see where luxury hotels are lacking.
"IF YOU FIND LOWER PRICES ELSEWHERE, GENERALLY YOU CAN SUBMIT A CLAIM SO THAT THE HOTEL WILL MATCH THE PRICE."
Gautam Lulla, president of Travel Tripper
Through competitive analysis, I learned that Five Star Hotels excel in:
- Having the fewest steps to checkout
- They do not have ads or pop-ups
- They provide services through quality not quantity
After the competitive analysis, we interviewed loyal guests and learned what they love about the hotel no matter where they are in the world.
- They normally book with the hotel directly
- Walk-in to request a room without prior booking
- Know that everything will be clean and up to standard
- Know that they will always have the best experience staying with them
"YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD EXPERIENCE... IT'S A LUXURY HOTEL."
Beverly, Loyal Guest
INTERVIEWING THIRD-PARTY USERS
We released a survey and interviewed users to verify our assumptions (price and reviews) and to target users pain points of booking with third-parties.
People use third-party services for:
- Price comparison
- Finding the best deals
- Read reviews
Pain points of booking with third-parties:
- No refund
- Will not change dates without a complaint
- Does not feel comfortable (quality, service, environment)
- Most people would not return to the hotel chains they booked through the third-party sites
"I USE THIRD-PARTY SITES TO COMPARE PRICES AND REVIEWS. BUT I WOULD ALSO CHECK THE HOTEL SITE FOR PERKS."
OUR PRIMARY USER
With all of the research that was collected, we synthesized the information and created a persona that will guide us to designing for a large majority of users.
- Sam is planning a getaway for his 5th year anniversary
- They travel 2-3 times a year
- Enjoys their vacations at hotels or resorts
Pain Points for Sam include:
- Easily overwhelmed by choices
- Needs reassurance
- Would like an all inclusive stay so he doesn't really have to plan
SAM NEEDS CONVENIENCE
Through design studio, I had an idea of creating wristbands that users can use to access hotel amenities and plan as they go. But through user research, I learned that users want to plan and pay for their trip beforehand.
Our following assumption is that users would book directly with hotels if they knew what amenities they would receive. So in order to keep the integrity and class of hotel standards, we created three tiers [Gold, Silver and Platinum] packages in order to attract guests and inform them of perks that are offered when booking directly.
WHAT USERS GET FOR FREE
I built paper prototypes with the packages of amenities that would be offered to guests. After doodling on paper, I started cutting out photos to depict the luxury brand.
After user testing, I learned that:
- Users were distracted by the colors and pictures
- Users focused on missing details and misalignments
- Most importantly, people didn't understand the packages
Afterwards I went back to the drawing board and created paper prototypes that:
- Are in lower fidelity
- Adding branding language
ex: deals vs. exclusive offers
- Elaborating on the benefits of the packages
BOOK THE BEST EXPERIENCE
Stay as low fidelity as possible. We spent a lot of time creating a wireframe when we should have focused on interviewing and ideating more solutions to our problem.
I have learned that there is no "shortcut" when it comes to creating the best solution for the user. The most important thing was that we got back on track, ideated and created a solution that benefited the user for the first sprint.
I would also like to explore the road of creating travel packages for the Four Seasons, where people will be able to plan their experience during their booking process.