Red Lion Hotel Corporation
RLHC is a hotel franchise company with over 5.6M users to the site per year. As Product Manager and UX Designer, I am responsible for creating impactful customer experiences and managing product development initiatives that drive growth. I lead a cross-functional product team of designers, engineers, and stakeholders to solve problems to improve our product and business.
In an effort to create a new version of the website due to low conversion rate and high drop-off rate, I identified usability issues and determined the critical features to prioritize for the next iteration. This process also included user flows, low and high-fidelity wireframes, and descriptive use cases /requirements while always following ADA compliancy.
July 2018 - Ongoing
Ecommerce Website Redesign Project
In an effort to increase conversion rate, decrease drop-off rate, and improve customer satisfaction a new website redesign was slated. The customer journey from search to the checkout page was very confusing for the users so that is where I started.
Using UserTesting.com, I asked 20 people to think of a place they would like to go to with their family or friends in the United States. They were to enter the location, dates, number of guests and rooms, and discounts (if applicable). They were then asked to follow the booking path until the checkout page while noting their experience and answering questions along the way.
Example of Survey Questions
After compiling the survey data, I separated each comment into groups according to the page the user was on when having issues or comments.
Reoccurring pain points included
Having too many points of entry to the checkout page. (The user could go to a property page or straight to the checkout page).
Not knowing what locations and hotels around the US were available.
Not knowing when rooms were unavailable, closed, or full.
I defined who the company targets by looking at the customers purpose of stay, demographics, behaviors, motivations, and frustrations.
33 year old, surban, female, has a family of two
Doesn’t travel often but tries to find deals for future vacations. While she plans her future vacations she is looking for details about the hotel and attractions nearby. She tends to go to her saved websites multiple times before deciding.
24 year old, urban, male, photographer, enjoys travelling to new places to take photos
He works remotely, so she is on the go very often. He is always looking for deals and wants to save as much money while travelling as possible.
65 year old, is a business traveler who travels 3 times a month. She searches Google for the closest hotel to where she will need to be. She is looking for convenience and amenities.
Defining the MVP
Using the MoSCow method, I narrowed down the essential necessary features.
Must-have initiatives included:
- Revise the booking flow/customer journey.
- Add a new page to the customer journey where the user must pick a room and rate. This will decrease cognitive load time and decrease system errors within the CRS.
Add a new page and search functionality to view hotels by location (city, state).
Add descriptive language to the customer journey to decrease customer confusion.
Wire Framing and Prototyping
After completing the qualitative and qualitative data research, along with extensive competitive research, I defined the problem that was worth solving to be in fact the booking flow.
Using Azure Dev Ops, I created multiple features and tasks and prioritized them.
Results and Takeaways
This feature update will reimagine the way RLH has bookings today. This update will be described to the users as a complete feature redesign and update to the booking flow. An explanation will be shown including designs, user flows, and demos for stakeholders. Once the update is tested by them the internal staff will be given the opportunity to test for a week. They will be given a FAQ list and would be able to ask any questions before dealing with guests.