4 UX Designers
Business Analysis , User Research, Style Guide, Interactive Prototype
Sketch, InVision, and Photoshop
IHG is one of the largest hotel brands on earth and draws the largest customer base of business travelers. They provide more than 744,000 guest rooms globally and serve more than 150 million guests per year. They have a family of twelve brands ranging from the friendly comfort of a Holiday Inn hotel to the luxury of an award-winning InterContinental resort.
Business travelers are more often on their own now to coordinate and pay for their travel bookings. IHG wants Holiday Inn to pilot a new program that will allow business travelers to cooperatively plan, book, and travel, making it easier for teams to stay together, whether their trips are for work or for pleasure.
We believe that enhancing the IHG mobile application for business travelers will allow them to efficiently communicate and coordinate with others on their hotel bookings. We will know this to be true when we see increased bookings from new and existing customers who utilize the collaboration features through the mobile application.
In order to create an effective booking experience for business travelers to do collaboratively, we would need to learn about the needs of these travelers, their stay preferences, and the types of design patterns for collaboration they are use to.
We wanted to get a sense of the market and how IHG stacked up against the competition. We identified 20 features used with in the industry to compare across these companies including aspects of the sign in process, the booking process, and rewards programs.
As a team we interviewed 4 users that met the criteria of our screener. We learned about how they currently went about booking hotels for themselves and their colleagues as well as the tools they're using to accomplish the job. In the process we also gained insights into the role convenience plays in their hotel location and nearby amenities choices.
“Do I have a place to sleep, do I have a place to shower, Yes. Ok great, and also if it’s close to the place that I need to go everyday. That was important.”
When we were done with the interviews, we came back together as a group and pulled out several important pieces of information from each interview. We put them on post-its and organized them as a team into chucks. Once they were all organized we gave each group a name.
I want to communicate and coordinate with my team
I need the app to anticipate my travel needs
My time is important to me (booking process)
I need to balance my personal needs with the business goals
I want to get the best deal
Booking Pattern: Books travel for himself and others
Goal: Booking process should anticipate my needs
Challenge: Involving employees in the booking process
Booking Pattern: Books travel primarily for herself
Goal: Flexibility with the itinerary
Challenge: Options to stay in a different hotel than her group
As a group we did a ton of sketching for this project. It allowed us to each share our ideas and build off the ones that we felt were most appropriate to solving the problem. Many of the good ideas were cut out and formed into new designs we called "Frankenstein". This method of sketching, discussing, identifying the best ideas, merging them together and then iterating allowed us to create many ideas and dig deep into every detail.
Once the sketching process was complete and we felt good about the ideas within our design, I began to solidify it into an App Map and User Flows.
We did not have an official style guide for this project so I had to create one from scratch. We did this through screenshots of the app and measuring the basic elements and matching the look and feel. For the typography we were able to leverage an older style guide from IHG that helped guide the choices for typeface.
With the help of the team members who applied the visual design and passed them on to me I was able to bring that into InVision to build out the experience. Give it a try using the scenario below.
Scenario: You are going on a business trip with your team. You have just read about a new group booking feature in the IHG app via email. You are already a member on the IHG app and now you want to try out this new group booking feature with your 3 team members on your upcoming trip to NYC this February.
Goal: Sign-in to the app and start a new group booking for you and your team to collaborate on through the booking process for your trip to NYC this February 19th through the 23rd.