Usability Evaluation and Site Redesign

Ironhack Prework. Challenge 3.

Beatrice Nuti
6 min readFeb 3, 2020

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In 2017, the world voted for the seven wonders of the new millennium. These are very touristic places that condense unique beauty and are prepared with many services for everybody to enjoy.

The chosen destination for this exercise is Petra, an archeological structure located in Jordan and declared one of the seven wonders of the new millennium.

Jordan

The users will stay at Jordan for a week and they will stop by for a few days to visit the place which is without a doubt the most attractive stop of the trip.

The information below is about a research of the country:

  • Closest airport: Jordan has two different airports such as Amman, the country’s capital or Aqaba. In this case Amman’s airport is the chosen one even if it’s more far from Petra because it offers a more flight link options and the cost is sensibly cheaper;
  • Currency: Jordan uses the Jordan dollar and it’s more convenient to exchange the money at the airport arrival;
  • Medical needs: There’s no need any specific medical treatment to visit the country;
  • Clothing advise: Jordan has an extremely temperature change between day and night so the recommended clothing would be like a “bit of everything” to face the temperature difference;
  • Visiting days: If the vacation takes between 6 to 7 days it’s highly recommended to use 2 of them to visit Petra and the rest of the archaeological complex.

Users

Before checking the usability tests it’s necessary to define the user type.

In this project it has been selected the following scenario:

Young group - 20 - 40 y/o (4)

You and your friends have decided to invest and spend some quality time together. You are planning your trip one year in advance to really make it happen and accommodate everybody’s schedules and needs. You like to share as much time together and plan for a lot of fun. You’re interested in a mix of culture and leisure. You have all saved for the last year for the trip so, while you’re still price-conscious this is the opportunity to spoil yourselves.

The group’s scope is to make an economic trip by visiting the most possible places at the lowest price.

Benchmarking

Usability has been the most valuable factor to find out the app which adapts best for the group needs.

Skyscanner, Kayak and Hopper

Skyscanner, Kayak and Hopper are the analyzed apps because their services in favor of young users who are searching for cheap flights and accommodations on their trips.

I didn ́t personally know about Hopper but I have to admit it got me impressed cause of its interface simplicity and aesthetics. Its base functionality is simple as any other trip app but it’s specialized on helping the user to book the flight or the hotel on the right moment and help the customer to get the 40% off the original flight price. It’s also possible to freeze the flight cost along the next 48h by paying a little tax fee.

Usability test and interview

Hopper Logo

On this test 3 different people had to use Hopper app. Any of them have used the app before or even heard about it. I showed them the app and asked them to do the following:

Flights

  • Write the destination (Amman, Jordan);
  • Write the number of people participating in the trip (4 friends);
  • Choose your travel dates (sep 13 - sep 20);
  • Select the cheapest trip for the chosen dates.

Accommodation

  • Write the destination (Petra, Jordan);
  • Select the dates for the chosen destination (sep 15 - sep 17):
  • Choose the number of travelers (4 friends);
  • Choose a cheap accommodation but with good reviews.

Main issues

The application is very simple and intuitive, however users have encountered some problems.

During searching for flights, after entering the destination, the number of people participating in the trip and the dates, the users expected to see directly a list of flights with the possibility of being able to put them in order of price. Instead the first screen that is observed after entering all the data necessary indicates only the cheapest flight.

Also, problems arose when sharing the selected flights. Users noted that it wasn’t possible to share the return flight link but only a screen of the first selected flight.

During searching for accommodation, users realized that it wasn't possible to select the number of travelers; the app allows you to type only the destination and dates but the number of participants in the trip. After entering the required informations, the application allows you to choose an accommodation based on the price and, once you select an accommodation, it allows you to see, in the list of rooms, if there is availability for the number of travelers concerned. This process was very inconvenient.

Once the preferred accommodation has been selected, it’s possible to see where the hotel is located on the application map, which is not very interactive. Users would have preferred the possibility of being able to open the position on Google Maps in order to see the exact position of the accommodation compared to other points of interest or other cities.

Redesign

The goal of this challenge is to make the app as functional as possible based on user problems. For this reason we proceed with a re-design which is summarized in the following points:

  • from the “flight choice” screen, you go directly to the list of all available flights for the requested dates, eliminating the screen that offers only the cheapest flight;
  • The sharing icon of the summary screen of the two selected flights (round trip) has been added, in order to share a link with the chosen flights to other travelers;
  • In the “search for accommodation”, in addition to the choice of destination and dates, the possibility of selecting the number of travelers has been included.
  • Lastly, the possibility of being able to view the attractions, restaurants and other points of interest around of the selected hotel and the option to open the map directly on iOS Maps or on Google Maps has been added.

Conclusions

This was the most demanding challenge but at the same time one of the most interesting.

User experience is very important in the design of a product, both physical and digital, and it is often the process that is most overlooked. Involving users is very useful because they will then have to use the product and it is important that they trust and feel involved in the experience that creates that particular product.

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