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Like most travel sites the holiday booking process is a key user journey on Firstchoice.co.uk and Thomson.co.uk. Not only is it business critical, it’s also very complex, with numerous different options and pages presented depending on the type of holiday being booked.
I was the UX lead for an ambitious redesign of the booking process on both the First Choice and Thomson websites. I was tasked with improving the overall user experience, together with increasing the booking conversion rate and uptake of upsells and cross sells within the booking process.
Analysing the current booking process
In order to find out how the current booking process was performing, and to identify areas for improvement I reviewed analytics and feedback collected through previous site surveys and usability testing. In addition, I carried out an extensive competitor review of the booking process on similar travel sites to identify best practice within the industry.
Mapping out the booking process
The holiday booking process for both First Choice and Tomson is very complex. There are lot of different holidays on offer, including package holidays, flights and cruises, with lots of different options presented within the process, such as upgrades, extras and different flight dates and times. In order to accommodate this complexity, and to utilise shared steps and options where possible, I mapped out the booking process steps and options required for the many different holiday types.
Designing the booking steps
The new booking process was being developed by an off-shore development team. It was therefore important to provide the team with comprehensive designs and specifications for the new booking process, including UI patterns and components that would be shared across the many different types of holiday bookings. I created comprehensive wireframes for the new booking process to outline the components to show for each step, and the detailed behaviours for each UI component.
Testing the new booking process with users
In order to evaluate the new booking process with users I created an interactive Axure prototype covering the end-to-end booking process, and carried out multiple rounds of face-to-face usability testing with 8-10 holidaymakers at the TUI offices. The second round of usability testing was carried out with a high fidelity version of the design.
Establishing the new look and feel
I worked with the lead visual designer to establish the visual look and feel of the new booking process. Rather than creating mock-ups for every page, work was streamlined to create visual designs at a UI component level and an example page to show how components should be displayed on the page, and at different breakpoints.
The new booking process has resulted in an increase in booking conversion rate, and uptake of upsells and cross-sells. The new design has dramatically simplified the booking process for users and has made the options available much more transparent and easy to understand.