OrlandoHotels.com

A conceptual travel booking responsive website for Orlando hotels specializing in theme park vacations.

UX Case Study

OrlandoHotels.com

A conceptual travel booking responsive website for Orlando hotels specializing in theme park vacations.

Problem Statement

When people are making their Orlando hotel reservations, they are unaware of what the theme park crowds will be during their vacation stay, which can greatly affect the vacation experience. Just imagine you are taking your family on their annual trip with your only 2-week PTO vacation and when you arrive the theme parks are either at capacity or overcrowded. There are many factors that contribute to the park crowds, local events, park events, historical data, holidays, and new COVID restrictions (reservations and limited capacity.) Users need to be able to have access to a crowd predictor calendar with a color-coded estimated park crowd level (red, orange, yellow, and green) to allow for an informed purchase and booking experience.

Background

OrlandoHotels.com is a fictitious company that I created for this assignment. I was fortunate enough to find a great used domain name. Their earlier research informs the decision that the MVP should include the searching, booking, and online check-in experiences. Most importantly, the mobile web experience must function well. A new requested feature would be a Crowd Calendar, a way to notify travelers about crowd numbers due to all the theme parks only allowing a percentage of their normal capacity due to COVID or a reservation system for park entry.

Objectives & Goals

I am to research and develop a clean, organized design MVP handoff for a responsive website focused on the mobile web experience.

First, I am to create a Responsive Hotel Booking Website. Secondly, I will develop an Impressive and Efficient UX/UI Design

I aimed to create a meaningful and well-thought-out responsive web design to deliver a fast-loading experience on all devices. I strived to provide stunning and beautiful UX/UI solutions with simple yet effective booking ease and design.

Design Process

I wanted to know more about my users, so I could empathize with them. I assumed they would be families and local tourists, but I set out to find out who really likes to go to the theme parks for vacation.

Research

Research Process

  1. Determine what goals users have when making a hotel reservation.
  2. Identify the preferred methods of hotel booking.
  3. Understand the process of prioritizing what is important when choosing a hotel.
  4. Understand why people choose Orlando as their destination.
  5. Determine if crowd sizes and entry restrictions affect travel plans.
  6. Learn if there are concerns about theme park crowds and accessibility.

Methodology

  • Comparative and competitive research to see what our competitors offer
  • User interviews to find out how users make hotel reservations
  • User interviews to determine if crowd predictors play a role in the trip planning
  • Survey online users about their hotel booking habits

Assumptions & Risks

  • I assumed that there is a certain group of people who will travel regardless of the pandemic.
  • I also assumed there are many people who will domestically travel to Florida this year and visit the theme parks.
  • I assumed these will be mainly families traveling to Florida.  These people are the primary target audience.

Competitors Analysis

I compared the most popular hotel booking websites on their strengths, weaknesses, and special features. I found that most sites had a loyalty or rewards program. They all also did other travel bookings in addition to hotels, such as private rentals and car rentals.

Interviews

I interviewed three people. I was able to interview them all in person.

Interview participants demographics:

  1. 2 Female and 1 Male
  2. Ages 35-50
  3. 100% traveled at least once this past year
  4. 100% visited a theme park within the last year
  5. 100% have booked a hotel online

I asked them a series of questions, but overall it was a conversation about their travel and hotel booking habits and motivations. It lead me to develop my main user persona.

Information Architecture

Persona

The persona, Lauren Guthrie, was developed after hours of research, interviews, and surveys. I was ready to define my product and user. Next, I completed a competitive analysis of popular online hotel booking sites. I wanted to examine the various features and characteristics of the top online hotel booking websites. A comprehensive list of site features was formulated from research and comparisons.

Sketches

After conducting research, developing a persona, a feature roadmap, and a card sort, I then started to sketch. I prefer to use graph paper and pencil to do my lo-fi sketches since it allows me to have a grid from the beginning of the creation process.

Interaction Design

With the first sketches drawn up, I started creating a site map of all of the necessary pages. It was time to ideate the whole website and all it will encompass.

Site Map

User Flows

Once I developed the site map, it was important to determine the user flow and what pages it would entail.

Wireframes

The user flow and site map led to the formulation of wireframes. I started with the desktop homepage first, set to a MacBook Pro 16" and then the responsive website on an iPhone 13.

UI

First Version
Second Iteration
Third Iteration
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Iteration and Implementation

After several iterations of the UI screens, a Hi-Fi prototype was created to test the user flow of choosing and booking a hotel both with the search box and crowd calendar.

First version of UI screens prototype

Once the prototype had been created, it was time to conduct a usability test with 3 participants.

Affinity Map

The users were given three different scenarios:

  • You want to take a vacation with your family of2 adults and 2 children to Disney World. It’s your family’s only yearly 1-week vacation.  The dates are Friday, September 9 through Thursday, September 15, 2022, for a total of 6 nights. You want to stay in a double room on Disney property in a 4-star hotel.  
  • You want to take a vacation with your family of2 adults and 2 children to Disney World. You want to go in early to mid-September for 1 week, Friday to Thursday with medium-level crowds.  Your budget allows you to stay on Disney Property in a 4-star hotel for $300-350 per night for a double room.
  • You want to stay on Disney property and your sister recommended the Dolphin hotel because you are a Marriott Bonvoy member and want to stay on Disney Property.  You want to stay 09/09 - 09/15/2022 with your family of 2 adults and 2 children.

I found most of the given scenarios flowed through properly without any issues. All of the usability testers initially searched by date. I had assumed that would be the most common flow, due to most Americans having limited PTO and certain times of the year when they can take it.

Final UI Screens

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After conducting the usability testing and factoring in the feedback, I was able to put the last finishing touches on the responsive screens. The bright and cheerful colored UI is exactly what was needed for OrlandoHotels.com.

Results & Takeaways

Overall, the Orlandohotels.com conceptual site was a success based on the initial project objectives and metrics. According to the Designlab assignment, "Success for this project is having a clean, organized design handoff for a responsive website focused on the mobile web experience."
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