Jet-out

Improving the customer experience of booking flights on mobile.

 
The challenge

Jet-out is a project created for my General Assembly UX Design Circuit course 2018. Many people use online resources to support their travel, yet the user experience of online travel sites, from booking to hotel finding, has yet to be perfected. Through user interviews I needed to identify a problem users have with sites supporting their travel. I was then to identify a product (on a web or mobile platform) that would improve their experience.

Discovery phase

Competitor analysis

I started by researching existing travel apps currently on the market to identify commonalities, find inspiration in other companies success and find opportunities for improvements in the design faults. I found that most flight booking apps asked users for extra unnecessary information when booking, that there was too much content squashed within the flight booking screens making the process seem overwhelming and easy payment options like PayPal, Apple Pay weren’t always an option.

User interviews

Began writing my research plan an identified my target audience as young professionals 28-35 with disposable income and no children. I then set out to start conducting user interviews. Through my research I found multiple issues around trust and clarity through online travel booking, but what I found most interesting is that people still don’t convert on mobile, often purchasing other items on their device but never flights. I wanted to explore this, prompting me to investigate further and conduct a second round of interviews specifically around booking flights through a mobile device.

 
“I prefer to book on desktop because of the bigger screen, especially for international flights, it’s really important to get all the details correct, I feel like it’s a bit more structured to do that with a laptop, rather than try to fat finger it.”
Key findings from second round of interviews
  • Users didn’t feel confident booking flights through mobile.
  • They felt like they didn’t have the right balance of relevant information accessible to them on mobile.
  • Users didn’t like to have to fill in long forms on mobile, finding it tedious and difficult and didn’t trust they would enter important information correctly.
  • They often purchased other items through mobile, but never flights.

Define phase

Problem statement

Users need a way to book confidently on a mobile device because they
currently don’t trust it.

Persona

After synthesizing the information from conducting the users interviews I created a persona that embodied the background, frustrations and needs and goals of my user.

Storyboard

Mapped out a storyboard of the scenario in which the user would interact and use the app.

Referring back to the problem statement started to dig deep. The two most important emotions in this statement are confidence and trust. Started to think about what they mean and how they could be incorporated into the context of the app.

 

Confidence; The feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.

How might we build confidence for the user, a few things came to mind:

  • Celebrating their successes (inline validation)
  • Appreciating them (thank you message at end of booking)
  • Support them (large input fields so they can enter their details easily).

 

Trust; Firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.

How might we build trust for the user:

  • Communicating effectively (relevant filtering)
  • Always being honest (flex calendar)
  • Keeping routine (ensuring design consistency through app)
User Flow

Development phase

Paper prototyping

After deciding what features were relevant to my users and mapping out a user flow I set about creating a series of paper prototypes and conducted some tests with my user. This was a great learning curve, where I discovered that I needed to re-order certain decision points in the users journey and adjust to what they had expected would happen.

Initial Hi-Fi prototyping

From my learnings with the paper prototypes I created a series of Hi-Fi prototypes with sketch and Invision to test with more users. When I performed the testing I asked the users to walk me through their rational on why they did certain things and what they expected. I also encouraged the users to be critical of the app (what they thought didn’t work) so I could understand what their true needs were (by default). This proved to be really helpful with informing my decisions on which areas of the app needed improvement.

 

Plus/Delta chart

After I performed the user interviews with the Invision prototype I created a Plus/Delta chart to synthesize my findings.

WHAT WENT WELL
  • Users like the ‘get from my device’ function on the forms.
  • Users liked the personal ‘Enjoy your trip’ message at the end of the booking.
  • Users liked the payment options available to them.
  • Users thought the app was easy to use.
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Users sped read over the ‘voice to text’ feature in the create account form.
  • Users questioned if their personal information was going to be shared.
  • Users wanted to be able to sort by ‘flight duration’ not just ‘price’.
  • Users wanted the ability to see what was included in the flight price upfront, rather than later in the process.
  • Users didn’t understand that their ‘saved’ searches were under the suitcase menu item.
  • Users thought the booking process was a bit ‘too’ quick leaving them questioning what they had just purchased.
  • Users needed the ability to enter passport and date of birth when booking international flights.

Key screens re-thought

Below i’ve addressed each of the ‘what could be improved’ points and explained what changes were made.

CREATING ACCOUNT
Users sped read over the ‘voice to text’ feature in the create account form.
  • Grouped the process by splitting the form into two pages so the user takes their time to read the form correctly. Made ‘get from device’ an option instead of the only way to enter the data. Changed the mobile field into 3 sections to help the user make sure they’ve entered the correct amount of numbers.
  • Added a progress bar at the bottom so the user could tell how far they were into the account registration process.
Users questioned if their personal information was going to be shared.
  • Added in microcopy at the bottom of the last field to help the user trust that the app wouldn’t share their data with third parties.
  • Added a ‘my account’ button to prompt the user to double check their details if they felt the need. Also a ‘back to search’ so they could continue searching.
SEARCHING
Users wanted to be able to sort by ‘flight duration’ not just ‘price’.
  • Changed the ‘sort’ option to a toggle switch as it was important to users to be able to sort by flight duration not just price, as they were happy to pay bit extra for a shorter flight.
Users wanted the ability to see what was included in the flight price upfront, rather than later in the process.
  • Added a ‘what’s included’ hover, users wanted a quick way to see what was included in the price without having to read through all the flight details.
  • After the user selects a price, I added in another page giving them the option to add/subtract extras (with the final total auto updating) so they could see the price up front, giving them more confidence to proceed with the booking knowing there weren’t going to be extras at the payment screen.
  • Also added in some microcopy to build trust that this is the final total ‘no hidden extras at checkout’
Users didn’t understand that their ‘saved’ searches were under the suitcase menu item.
  • Added in a star icon in the bottom menu bar for the users ‘saved’ searches.
BOOKING
Users needed the ability to enter passport and date of birth when booking international flights.
  • When you sign up to the app you are only required to enter your first/last name, mobile and email as this is all that is require by law to book a domestic flight. I realised I hadn’t allowed for international flights so added in the passport field and microcopy to explain why to the user.
Users thought the booking process was a bit ‘too’ quick leaving them questioning what they had just purchased.
  • I’ve added a summary of the booking details to each page so they user can feel confident to book without having to skip back a few pages.
  • Created a physical ticket when the user booked to help re-assure the user they had booked the flight, having something that seems tangible, as some users were unsure what they had purchased in the original version of the booking complete screen.

Conclusion

After conducting another round of user testing with the updated prototype the user now felt confident booking flights through a mobile as I had achieved the right balance of speed and clarity. By grouping the create account form into two sections the user is able to concentrate on each page carefully and by only requesting that the user enter the minimum amount of info legally required to book a flight, helped speed the process up. Creating a ‘whats included’ hover feature allowed the user to see what’s included in the flight price earlier in the process meaning there were no surprises at the end when purchasing and by adding important microcopy through the app helped build trust with the user by reassuring them their personal details will be kept safe and that there is no hidden extras at checkout.

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