Booking a hotel online is an area of the travel industry that has seen huge growth and shown great reactions to user experience recently. Now it is more important than ever to understand the audience, no matter where in the world they are based.
Hotels.com enlisted Bunnyfoot to test 6 designs for their international website.
Hotels.com wanted to accomplish the following:
- Explore 6 existing website designs across 4 international markets
- Find the elements that best supported the users’ needs, goals and expectations
- Understand what constitutes a compelling entry experience
- Recommend the elements of each design that best suited each of the different markets
With multi-lingual staff, flexibility in working hours, international recruitment links and remote testing software Bunnyfoot were well placed to perform comparative research in the following 4 countries: UK, Japan, Germany, United States.
We recruited 12 representative customers from each country to take part in testing, including a mix of business travellers, families with children, empty nesters and young professional couples.
In the UK, tests on the designs were performed face-to-face in our specialised research labs – we also used eye-tracking to add an extra component to the qualitative insight. In the other countries, we used screen sharing technology with a remote moderator speaking to the users when required in their native tongue. Using remote testing in this way keeps the research in-house and so maintains consistency and quality whilst keeping costs down.
Eye-tracking provided visual evidence to back up our Consultants’ recommendations
The different designs concentrated on different ways to present the home page, search queries, special offers and different ways to browse. Following an initial interview which asked some very open questions, unrelated to the designs, about making choices about their holidays, the participants were then given appropriate tasks to perform and were observed interacting with the different designs. Following each task participants were interviewed about their experience to gain additional qualitative insights.
Participants’ attention on the landing pages was primarily drawn to price, ‘star rating’, pictures and name
- A common pattern of customer need was identified which was then used to drive the design of the main global homepage template
- Localised differences in needs were identified for the different international markets
- Customisable pods were generated that allowed for tailoring of specific content as needed by each different international market