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Expedia, Hotels.com, AirAsiaGo

Expedia Web & Mobile User Research

Multiple regional research projects across Asia region that gain actionable insights for product teams.

How the project was approached

We identified markets that were a priority for the business and tackled one market at a time. Insights from the research study were handed over to the research team based in the US headquarters, which would also help them in iterating the research approach for the next market.

Objectives

  • Understand users’ behaviours on how they book flights, accommodation and packages
  • Identify ways to improve the usability of web & mobile products
  • Identify purchase trends and patterns among travellers in Asia

Scope

  • Desk research & competitive analysis
  • In-depth interviews with Asian travellers
  • Product validation through usability testing studies

People involved

  • Expedia User Research Team
  • Expedia Product & Marketing Team
  • UXC Director
  • UXC User Researchers

What were the activities involved

Gathering Insights

Desk Research

Our desk research focused on travel market statistics and the traveling habits of Asian travellers. This provided an overview for Expedia on the internet usage and smartphone penetration across different countries in the Asia region.

In-depth Interviews

We conducted in-depth interviews which spanned from 60 to 90 minutes with participants to understand their current processes and pain points when planning for a trip as well as to discover their behaviours and habits.

Usability Testing

The studies were 90-minutes long and comprised of 2 parts; the first being an in-depth interview with participant to understand their motivations, travel behaviours & experiences, followed by the usability testing session where they go through stimulated booking scenarios for their upcoming trip.

2 separate rooms were utilised for the study – (1) an interview room, which has recording devices that would stream audio and video footage, and (2) the observation room. After every session, we would have a debrief with the Expedia team to go through the findings and learnings that were observed.

For most of the usability studies that were conducted overseas, we would co-ordinate with a local market research firm and research team based in the targeted market.

Analysing & Synthesising Data

Findings derived from in-depth interviews / usability testing studies were compiled using post-its for efficient categorisation of each point.

User behaviours and patterns would then be identified through synthesising of findings into bite-sized information.

Presenting Design Recommendations

With reference to the findings and user behaviours, actionable recommendations were derived and presented in easy-to-read formats.

What were the deliverables of the project

As of date, we have conducted 17 research studies across 6 countries in the Asia region spanned across 4 years.

Deliverables include:

  • Different types of research reports – Desk, in-depth interview, usability testing, mobile web and mobile app platforms.
  • Insights of users’ travel behaviours across different markets / countries in Asia region that have significant influence towards product roll-out globally.

Discovery of User Behaviours & Patterns

User behaviours & patterns towards travel do not differ too much across the 6 countries that we have conducted research studies on. Factors that affected the user behaviours were mainly the differing cultural habits and expectations.

Usability Severity Ratings

With usability severity ratings, we were able to identify the most serious problems that required immediate attention as they were flagged out during the usability testing studies. This helped with the prioritising of the features that required fixing before launching of product.

What were the learning outcomes

  1. Travel habits and behaviours may not have as much difference as we thought, despite huge cultural differences among different countries.
  2. Establishing logical product hypotheses is a great way of aligning different stakeholders to derive objective conclusions.
  3. Choosing the right user research method based on context is necessary as it will give you the best insights.