The Table Less Traveled redesign
Redesign of a boutique travel website to double booking inquiries and number of travel packages sold by end of 2019.
Anastasia Tavare (User Research), Anupam Choudhary (Visual design/IA)
Pen & paper, Omnigraffle, Sketch, InVision
The Table Less Traveled creates extraordinary experiences that take travelers beyond local attractions, deep into local culture by offering exclusive access to special experiences unlike any other with local suppliers. They offer set date trips to three countries – Italy, Malaysia, and Peru—as well as a custom itinerary service for the customer that wants to travel their own way. The Table Less Traveled provides a curated journey each step of the way focusing on cultural immersion through food.
The current website experience is not meeting new users’ goals of feeling effortlessly informed about international trip offerings. How can we create a website that is cohesive, informative, and easy to use?
By creating an interface with (a) consistent branding, (b) clear copy, and (c) immersive images, users will stay longer on pages thus increasing the probability of capturing their imagination and leading them to inquiring further about a trip.
The Table Less Traveled website is a collection of pages that inform potential travelers about group travel packages, custom travel options, and other necessary information involved with traveling the world.
The existing main navigation consists of six options, two of which have dropdowns. Users noted that the navigation appeared simple; however, once users were deeper into specific destinations pages they described the pages as large and scattered with various bits of information. Important trip-specific information was hidden under non-animated dropdown arrows.
Hidden Pricing Inclusions + Exclusions
Hidden Itinerary Breakdown + Optional Extensions
Branding unfocused despite 12 high quality rotating images
Value proposition unconvincing due to text size and copy
Unimpressive small images
Buried quote did not add credibility
Users were unsure of what they were subscribing to due to lack of text content
Our user researcher compiled her findings into a primary and secondary persona using data from Google Analytics and customer interviews. As our primary persona, Anna represents the 25-34 year old demographic which makes up the largest percentage (~40%) of web traffic.
I started off by comparing 12 competing travel companies, sketching their homepage layouts to gain insight into current industry trends.
In order to better understand The Table Less Traveled's place in the market I conducted a competitive analysis on various components of four competitor websites. These companies selected were selected due to similar experiences offered.
Each competitor had:
Large hero images
Fixed top navigation
Large call to actions with clear text
After researching competitors, I designed wireframes to validate users’ goals. I executed five usability tests to assess effectiveness of the preliminary design.
Homepage was cluttered and did not include a clear value proposition
Redesign was suffering from major call to action issues
Clear placement and size of pictures
Effective expanded itinerary content
Trip comparison page provides at-a-glance comparison
FAQ section confusing and felt out of place
Following multiple iterative paper prototypes and additional usability tests, I created and tested a clickable prototype with five users to further refine my design.
HOME PAGE ITERATIONS
The "what sets us apart" section on the home page saw four main iterations. I found that oversimplifying details led to more questions than answers. However, displaying too much information was overwhelming and redundant. The final iteration displayed beautiful, simple images that informed users about The Table Less Traveled and its core values, and users reported the combination as straightforward and enjoyable to use.
1. Users immediately clicked images expecting links elsewhere
2. "Logistics" was vague, especially without additional information
3. "Learn more" button was added to link to the FAQ page
4. Image size increased to better display company values
5. Descriptive text already present on site was relocated for better visibility
6. Image and text sections combined as users found the prior iteration redundant
Once my clickable prototype design was complete and ready to redline for pixel perfection, our visual designer took my wireframes and applied color, imagery, and typography consistent with his branding research. These aspects are:
Intimate, but not in-depth
Playful, but not comical
Relaxed, but not breezy
Overall, the project resulted in a high-fidelity comp that exceeded executive leaderships’ expectations. Usability tests uncovered that the redesign resulted in an experience matching the users expectations regarding how a modern online travel company should feel. Users were able to compare travel packages and specific itinerary details with ease, and they reported feeling prepared for traveling abroad. Our team expects these results will translate to revenue once the website goes live.
I would like to work on the design of the payment processing and implement a system into the site. Currently, users are routed to a third-party website to process payment, which results in a segmented experience.
WHAT I LEARNED
Time management and scope are important to address early on. I spent a good deal of time brainstorming branding ideas with the visual designer, which ultimately affected the time it took to deliver my wireframes to him. On the next project I will create a more detailed daily planner with goals and deliverable deadlines.