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Thomson Airways is the world’s largest charter airline carrying tens of millions of passengers every year. Their primary booking channel is their website, so it’s imperative that it delivers a fantastic user experience.
I was the lead UX designer for an ambitious redesign of the Thomson Airways website. The redesign covered every part of the website, from search to booking and flight information. Working with a more junior UX designer, a graphic designer, a business analyst, the development team and the product owner I lead and co-ordinated the UX for the entire redesign.
Analysing the current site
It was important to understand how the current site was being used, which features and content were most useful and how the site compared to competitors. I carried out an analysis of site analytics to establish user information and to investigate popular tasks and content. I also carried out an audit of the current site to identify content to be supported, along with a review of competitor sites, focusing on key pages and user journeys, such as the flight booking process.
Testing the new navigation
Having established the content and information architecture for the new site I wanted to test this with users. In order to do this, I ran a closed online card sorting study using OptimalSort. The card sorting highlighted information that users were struggling to find within the new navigation.
Designing the new site
Rather than creating wireframes for every page of the new site, I focused on key pages and user journeys, such the flights search. This allowed pages and features that could have the greatest impact to the success and performance of the site to be updated first.
Testing the new design with users
In order to get feedback as early as possible, I carried out usability testing of the wireframes with users. Key user journeys were tested, such as flights search and finding late deals. A second round of usability testing was carried out once the visual look and feel of the site had been established.
Delivering the design
Having tested key pages and user journeys with users, I worked with the graphic designer to establish the visual look and feel for the new site. As the site was being developed by the off-shore development team I provided continual usability feedback, including expert usability reviews and user experience sign off for pages.
The new Thomson airways website is a vast improvement when compared to the previous site. By taking a user-centred design approach, and by getting very early user feedback it was possible to deliver a design that better supports users, that leads to greater uptake of flight options and ultimately sells more Thomson airways flights.