Personally, my favourite part of going on holidays is the planning stage, and imagining the adventure that lies ahead. Just planning it makes me feel excited like a little kid on Christmas Eve.

But often my pre-holiday excitement disappears at the same time I have to book for hotels or flights. And it happens simply because of dull and repetitive experiences using travel websites.

Bad UX design for travel eCommerce can really waste people’s time and inevitably discourage them from doing whatever they were doing.  And once they decided to leave the website, the chances of them returning are almost nil.

Picking a B&B Shouldn’t be This Daunting!

The other day I was just browsing some B&B websites for a weekend trip, just to have fresh idea of where to go. Well, I ended up spending almost the whole afternoon and not even finding anything that fit my needs. It wasn’t because of my unrealistic budget. Instead I had to spend most of my precious Sunday on countless annoying tasks. All I wanted was a quick and relevant information.

Small UX mistakes keep visitors away

I regularly use different websites where I can compare prices. While they’re supposed to save my time, some got small (but fatal) UX flaw.

Take, for example, a country picker. A drop-down menu might not be the best practice if the list is too long, like the one listing all existing countries on the planet. Boag World shows the difficulty finding his own country – The UK, the United Kingdom, Great Britain… or was it England? Sometimes people don’t realise that it’s actually on the very top, being excluded from the alphabetically ordered list. Seriously, a simple text box would be easier sometimes.

I know, it’s a small detail. But when every little detail builds up, it will be significant enough to let users down.

Another UX mistake involves payment procedure. Some people just don’t like to be taken to other payment platforms like Paypal. It’s not necessarily because people don’t like using Paypal. They just don’t like to be sent to a different interface, offering a totally different interactive experience (see Gigaom). That can easily spoil the relationship between brand and users.

Why is this so complicated? User experience should be consistent and complete.

It is even worse when they ask you to register and create a password with upper-, lower- (or whatever-in-between) cases. And if you forget your passwords, you’ll face CAPCHA, ‘the ultimate time-waster’’, according to Smashing Magazine.

Just imagine sitting for hours proving that you are an actual living thing.

All travel sites should incorporate detailed UX design to achieve simple and beautiful interface to save users’ time and efforts.

It’s all about experiences, nothing complicated

Some may not agree but look at how AirBnB executes well in this field. (I’m not saying that it’s flawless – but this could offer a better alternative than many others.)

Its visually-rich design offers a unique experience. Their eCommerce features ‘user wish-lists, staff-/guest picks, and thematic catalogs (like ideal honeymoons) showcasing various types of properties from 192 countries (Fast Company).

Underneath the beautiful website lies the detailed and elaborate UX design.

Those who rule mobile devices, rule the world.

More people are using mobile phones and tablets for booking purpose – and the number almost doubled from the previous year (see Postcode Anywhere).

The drop-down menus or calendar boxes are now replaced by banners spanning across the full width of screen, displaying attractive resort properties in Tahiti or studio flats in Barcelona with exclusive offers.

“Design lets you get completely immersed–lost in the unique properties”, says Airbnb UX designer Shaun Modi.

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Sources: peasandcougars, Econsultancy, Airbnb on iTune, edreams



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