There were some pinpoints that I needed to figure out for users;
Nearest airport / most convenient airport to destination.
Steven and Elena lived in Frankfurt, Germany. They would travel from Frankfurt am Main International Airport to Denpasar International Airport in Bali, Indonesia.
Currency and exchange from your own currency.
Indonesia used Rupiah (IDR, Indonesian Rupiah) as its currency. Steven an Elena would need to exchange money from Euro to IDR.
Medical needs: vaccination, visa, etc.
German and US passport holders didn’t need Visa to travel in Indonesia for 30 days. There were some vaccinations that were recommended when users traveled to Bali; Tetanus-Diphtheria, Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Rabies, Malaria, and Dengue Fever.
It was always sunny and breezy in Bali. Better packed light, summery wardrobe.
Days needed to visit attraction.
The most wanted attractions for Steven and Elena were diving, surfing, and snorkeling. They would go to Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan for diving and snorkeling on their second week in Bali. They wanted to explore Seminyak and Changu area for their first week.
Benchmarking travel apps
After did some testing with three apps; Kayak, Skyscanner, and TripAdvisor, I narrowed down to TripAdvisor because they had not only hotel booking and flight booking, they also had good recommendations on what users needed to do in certain places.
I did a small interview using five-second testing with 2 couples that matched my target audience; Daniel and Marcella, Albert and Ben.
I showed them TripAdvisor app on my phone and asked them these questions:
- Do you know this app?
- Could you tell what kind of service you get from this app?
- What do you catch first when you see this screen?
Some of them already familiar with TripAdvisor and some of them didn’t know that they could book a hotel and flight with it. Most of them used TripAdvisor at least once when they google things to do in certain places but never book a flight or a hotel with it.
Because they never book a flight or a hotel with the app, I asked them to search and test those features.
After conducting interviews and user testing with my participants, I gathered some issues that users faced. Users liked how easy it was to book a hotel room but they concerned about:
- Users found an unavailable listing on their search results even when they already filled up their desired date.
- Users had given default date for their search, they couldn’t input their desired date right away when they search. This flow was time-consuming because users needed to load the entire search results and changed the date to their desired date and loaded again for getting the results they needed.
- Users weren’t really aware of filter and map feature that was at the bottom of the screen so they needed more time to find it.
- Users stopped their search when they needed to redirect to another site, some sites were local site and they switched the language from English to local language that they didn’t understand.
- Too many steps to book a hotel room.
I actually really liked what TripAdvisor already had but after doing user testing and usability, I found improvements that would make users’ experience better.
First I made a sketch of my user flow, this sketch was only to help build a better understanding of the flow I decided to build, whether it made sense or not, then I made a mid-fi wireframe with SketchApp and prototype with InVision.
And here was the user flow from TripAdvisor that I used for this practice:
And here we go, the Mid-Fi user flow on Sketch, I also uploaded it on InVision
I was honestly really glad when I finally finished this challenge, this one was the hardest by far. It pushed me to read a lot of articles about usability and user testing that I was so lacking. The five-second test that I used with users really helped me put things into perspective and once again, interviews with real users helped me finding the lack of these Apps that looked fine. I personally used these Apps quite often and I didn’t realize all the problems because usually, I would just leave the Apps without thinking what was the problems when I found something uninteresting.
User experience was one of the most important things in a product that sometimes being left out. Engagement and conversion from some products could have a really huge gap if users didn’t trust or couldn’t find something relevant for their needs.
And, for you who reads until this paragraph, thank you and may you have a great time reading it.