Having previously used Booking.com to book my own accommodations, I had no understanding of the size and complexity behind the scenes. So when I joined in November 2016 my head was a little dizzy at first, but I was thrilled to merge my love of travel and design. Jump to some highlights:
One of the first UX projects I started on was an SMS phone number verification prompt. It enables partners (property owners) to verify the trustworthiness of potential guests by screening them during the booking process. Guests who verify their phone number tend to cancel less frequently than those who don’t meaning more bookings for partners. It goes something like this:
This prompt was what I worked on.
One challenge we faced was some guests not receiving the verification code. We knew this because guests told us so whenever they reported a problem on the prompt.
However, we wanted to better understand why some guests were not receiving the verification code. In particular markets our SMS verification tool was causing issues.
I came up with a troubleshooting idea where if the user was to follow a series of four suggestions to fix the problem, we could find out which suggestion worked. With our internal tools we could measure and track the amount of times users tried to resolve the problem and compare each suggestion to see which one resolved the most problems.
By better understanding our users, we were able to resolve the issues our SMS verification tool was facing. We saw an uptick in the number of bookings as a result meaning happy guests, happy partners, and a happy business.
One of the larger projects I worked on was designing an email template solution for Partner Marketing. The existing email marketing tool had a fixed, fill-in-the-blanks setup. This meant marketeers and copywriters had to dictate their communications to the template, instead of the tool offering them a layout they needed.
A new tool was needed, and with it the opportunity to offer some flexibility and a drag-and-drop style interface. This would enable marketeers to craft their communications without any restrictions, or hands-on input from a developer (me).
I utilised an emerging Booking design system to not only speed up my template solution creation, but to ensure a consistent look-and-feel with other emails being sent to partners from other departments.
To prioritise which components and features should be included in the initial launch, I conducted an audit of the previous 6 months of emails sent to partners from the Partner Marketing department and met with various users of the email tools to assess their needs.
The outcome was a flexible set of x18 components that when used in any combination (with some best-practice guidelines) would allow for the creation of any email layout.
Alongside the creation of the new email template solution, I conducted various workshops and creative audits with the teams sending emails. I also put together an internal Wiki for the same teams to refer to. It included tips such as: classes to include in <a> tags to ensure underlining in all email clients and browsers, UTM email tracking code structure, and a single class to enable RTL text support for Arabic and Hebrew.
According to research conducted by Booking.com across 25 markets in 2017, 29% of travelers said a personal connection is essential when booking accommodation and 24% said a welcoming host is a make or break factor during the first 24 hours of their trip.
So, what do a dream wedding in New York, an adventure through the mountains of Sri Lanka and a family’s search for their roots in Scotland all have in common? All saw a hospitality professional go the extra mile to make or save a guest’s trip.
#BookingHero was launched as a social media campaign to uncover these, and many other moments.
I was involved in the planning and strategizing of the #BookingHero campaign microsite , as well as the UX, UI, and development. It had to serve dual purposes: one as a customer-facing rules-of-the-game terms and conditions competition site, and the other as a partner-facing resource overview and terms and conditions site.
The primary audience of the site were the customers . The partners were secondary. So rather than create two separate sites for each audience, I came up with a simple solution: the main .com homepage of the site would serve the customer-facing side, and a .com/partner page for the partner-facing side, and both sides would share the same terms and conditions page.
The partner site had to be translated into 20 languages, and the customer site and terms and conditions pages into 26 languages each. I set up a repo on our internal gitlab to ensure a smooth build and maintenance of these 72 hard-coded pages. Experience taught me that text changes, translation fixes, bugs, and sections coming on an off the site are inevitable.