Tripadvisor Site Redesign (Ironhack 2021 Chronicles)

Tripadvisor logo

For my final UX challenge in my Ironhack pre-work, I was given the task of redesigning a travel metasearch website. Using Nielsen’s Ten Heuristics in UI Design, I selected Tripadvisor mobile website for the following reasons:

Although the Tripadvisor mobile website satisfies Nielsen’s heuristics, further research uncovered some usability problems.

Objective

User

Travel backpack

“WorldTrotters” or “Backpackers” looking to travel alone share the following characteristics that needed to be taken into consideration with user research:

Research

Taking these characteristics into account, I interviewed four users within the WorldTrotter/ Backpacker age range. Using Zoom on a mobile device, users performed a 5-second usability test and three tasks on the Tripadvisor mobile website.

5 Second Usability Test

Users viewed a screen shot of Tripadvisor’s mobile landing page for five seconds, then answered the following questions:

Based on the responses below, Users were less likely to use the buttons under the logo to search for flight information and more likely to use the search bar. This finding is consistent with majority of users perceiving the Tripadvisor website as primarily used to book accommodations.

Tripadvisor Tasks

For consistency, users were all given the same scenario (shown below)and overall task to complete.

Scenario: You are celebrating the start of the summer with an international solo trip. You have always seen pictures of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and you want to see it for yourself this May 2021. You will be saving for this trip between now and May, but you are price conscious. You have decided to travel alone in order to have the most flexible schedule and meet new people.

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Users were also given three subtasks that they can complete in whichever order made the most sense to them:

2. Find the best accommodation

3. Find one other interesting activity (event, tourist spot, etc.) to do in Rio de Janeiro during your stay

After completing the Tripadvisor tasks, users were asked the following questions:

“Were there any complications or confusions while completing the Tripadvisor tasks?”

“Were there any portions of the tasks that you found enjoyable?”

“Are there other concerns that you may have outside of the tasks provided?”

This question allowed users to share any additional insights that were not shared during the Tripadvisor task.

Findings

Tripadvisor Affinity Diagram

The findings of the research were organized based on the subtasks (Accommodation, Flight, Activity) and results of the post-tasks questions were distributed among the subtask themes or categorized into “Needed Information.”

Based on the user insights, here were the findings for each theme:

Accommodation

1. Selecting an accommodation is not first step when planning a trip.

2. Ratings are prioritized equally or more than location images when selecting an accommodation

3. The Hotel tab on the landing page was not clear that the link led to information regarding other accommodations that were not hotels.

Flight

2. Users do not like being directed to another website to actually book the flight.

3. Selecting a flight is typically the first task when planning a trip.

Activity

Needed Information

1. There were a lot of content for pages which can be overwhelming.

2. Tabs under the landing page search bar were unclear they were links.

3. Safety is a major concern that is not visible in the Tripadvisor website.

4. Reviews play a major role in choices.

Solution

The primary changes were made on Tripadvisor’s landing page, Hotel search listings page and Flights listing page. Solutions emphasized providing more information related to safety. One user stated,

“Apartments look like Air BnB but what’s is concerning is the area and how sketchy the area is.”

In addition, solutions also decreased clicking options in order to decrease cognitive overload as users have consistently mentioned the large amounts of scrolling on the site pages. One user stated,

“People like our age is pretty good but maybe not for older. The pages give you all the options on one page but may be visually crazy for someone older.”

Landing Page

Tripadvisor Lo-fi Wireframe Landing Page

Flight Search

Tripadvisor Lo-fi Wireframe Flights Page

Accommodation Search

Tripadvisor Lo-fi Wireframe Accommodation Page

Travel Advice

Tripadvisor Lo-fi Wireframe Travel Advice Page

Learning Experiences

The Power of Small Changes

Redesigning the Tripadvisor mobile website provided great insight in the power of small changes. Each solution makes minor impacts in the navigation and visual look of the website. However, the user experience will improve greatly with these changes.

Future Redesigns

Because I started redesigning the mobile version of the website first, future redesigns of Tripadvisor’s website will need to look at the desktop version in order to maintain consistency. Also, the short length of time to complete this case study did not allow for more in-depth questions regarding the users’ insights on the large amount of content on the page. Some additional questions I would have liked to ask include: “Which sections of this page to you find to be useful for the current task?” and “How much of the page content to you remember?”

Although users within this study have consistently acknowledged that they found the website to be visually appealing, Tripadvisor has plenty of room to improve its usability for its diverse users.

I am a User Experience and User Interface designer with a past life as a pro track and field athlete and author. Read my novel SPRINT DREAMS on Amazon.