'Travel site redesign' - STA Travel .

A visual redesign project of the user interface (UI) for a popular travel booking website as well as new selling and inspiration concepts, based in user research, UX 'expert design' and user validation testing.

Client industry / sector: Travel
Client location: Kensington, London
Project delivery time: 10 months
When: 2012-13

Service/s provided: Research / UX design / UX audits / User testing / Visual design / Front-end dev and markup


An image showing some visual designs from the 'asset finance' product.
Image: The 'social hub' destination page was designed to be a playful country page featuring topical content, product searches, competitions, blog content, local tips as well as direct selling.

Discovery

Before I came on board, STA had approached a design agency to undertake a redesign of their UK web site's homepage and flight category landing page. This work established the design language and direction of the UI, though there was more to be explored. The remainder of the site, including core functionality had not been addressed in this redesign.

This engagement was in affect to take over, and to commence a UX audit and review of this new design, and the other areas of the STA website. To evolve the agency design as the discovery work progressed. This work would eventually explore and establish new customer-centric site ideas to grow traffic, sales and better serve disparate site content.

Challenges

The was the possibility of for ruffling feathers by nature of designing for the global look-and-feel of the STA website without the involvement of what was isolated and separate regional web teams around the globe.

Process

This task was approached by first identifying and reworking user journeys on site areas identified by the business priorities. This involved sketching out journeys and wireframe ideas with pen and paper before digitizing them. Wireframes and visual designs were produced once the concepts were agreed with the business. The work was on an ‘expert review’ basis from UX design 'know-how' as well as considering wider common conventions across other travel booking websites, contemporary design best practices and trends. The aim was to improve the user experience of these identified areas.

I conducted site audits and competitor research, made and documented recommendations, fostered agreement amongst stakeholders, produced wireframes, facilitated 'guerrilla' user testing, and produced visual designs before writing markup to hand over the builds to the in-house developers.

The work was ‘guerrilla’ tested to validate assumptions and UX thinking.

Outcome

I delivered a better more considered web site than that which had existed before. Transactions were up, page bounce rates were down, and I left STA in a good position to hire a permanent member of staff to take over. I worked with a good bunch of people whom where accommodating to user centred design techniques and I enjoyed my time in this engagement.