Making Tripadvisor the true authority in the destination
Tripadvisor is currently effective in helping travelers find "best" hotels and other products for popular travel destinations. We are good in offering the end points (bookable products). However, it is difficult for travelers to find relevant content earlier in their planning journey, especially when looking for what the destination is good for. There is no “sense of place”. Tripadvisor wants to become the authoritative resource for researching and shopping a destination in a way that is relevant to travelers’ needs.
We were tasked to audit the home page of our Things to Do section to be able to bridge between context-building around the destination (”the authority”) and delivering bookable experiences (tours, tickets, and others).
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Designer and Collaborator
- Pair-designed with other designer to iterate on designs
- Prototyped test materials
- Planned and conducted user interviews
- Led the designer on discussions for next steps
- Drafted the deliverable deck
- Presented the deck
Tripadvisor plans to select a shortlist of high visibility destinations and build additional content-rich assets to provide a more "authoritative" discovery + shopping experience. They will also promote these destinations on social media and other channels.
By using this strategy, we hypothesise that we’ll earn travelers' trust and become the go-to resource for researching and shopping a destination.
If this model is successful, Tripadvisor will scale it to a broader destination set in H2 2021.
The solution has to be:
- Scalable, so that it can be replicated elsewhere with ease
- Authoritative, so that people want to read and trust
- Balanced between content and bookable points of interest
Complex ecosystem of pages
Experiences product has a (legacy) complex system of information architecture and pages that sometimes are redundant with confusing terms. We need to understand how they behave collectively to be able to propose a solution.
Balacing short- vs long-term
As a design team we could go as far as the “ideal” format as defined by good design and user feedback, but the real solution is to work closely with product and engineering to find a good balance to start.
Bridging design team, design system & processes to the product and engineering team.
Product design and research
We have to deliver a cohesive set of recommendation that includes design thinking and UI design that can be implemented. To arrive to this, we need to do our own research.
- Build context: First, we need to make sure we understand the problem, regardless of the complexity. We took a deep dive into the product and past insights. At this point, there is no problem-solving yet.
- Audit: We audited the experience and flow, also initiated our early UX research to find out how travelers perceive the current version.
- Iterate and Propose: After getting a sense of what the user problem is, aligning that with business goals, our team started to design. We started with imagining what the ecosystem of pages would be like for this particular phase (discovery), and what is possible. We closely aligned with stakeholders through alignment meetings that happened fortnight, as well as testing out iterations in front of real users through UserTesting.com.
What we did
We did our internal audit and user research initially, before we even begin designing. We received some insights that validated our concern that our Things to Do homepage is lacking “a sense of place”.
We then also made initial audit to our user flow using the Jobs-to-be-Done framework that was done by our researcher in the past, and is now used company-wide. This framework (internal) is useful to identify which actions users are taking, and in which stage they’re in (Discovery). This allowed us to understand what needs to be designed and where.
Based on these initial insights, we started designing, but with these three goals in mind:
- Build credibility first: Allow travelers to first see the aspects a place is known for and then read more into areas of specific interests. Provide an overview that acknowledges a traveler’s pre-existing ideas of a place.
- Understanding precedes shopping: Design for the user mindsets that exist before the motivation to shop but also include opportunities to pivot to shopping.
- Destination variety: Because different geos emphasize slightly different approaches, we should develop a solution that can scale and adapt to City, Outdoor and Beach geos. Activities are central to how users understand what to do in a place.
We then proceeded into exploring information architecture, structure and flows.
- To build credibility, we need to establish what a place is generally or popularly known for, and highlight them.
- To build understanding before shopping, we need to sequence and structure the page accordingly so that the mindset that we want to build is that “let’s understand this place and what I want or can do first”, only then we bridge them into bookable items
- To account for destination variety, we need to build modules that can be scaled and adapted to multiple geos.
Annual revenue of $8m (est.)
Experiences being a key product for Tripadvisor brings an annual potential revenue of $8m (est.) especially on the discovery side
Outputs include, but not limited to:
- UI and UX designs (screens, prototypes) for Discovery stage of travelers looking for experiences products in specific destination
- Insights from concurrent UX research
Initial workshops that led to the blueprint gathered teams cross-functionally.
This allowed outcomes that included:
- Deep and wide understanding of what we envision Discovery stage could be in Experiences products
- Conviction in taking a giant and brave leap to overhaul the Things To Do page, which is the landing page for Experiences
- Aligning closer to the “Guidance” direction that Tripadvisor wants to be
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- Alec Wong, Senior Designer
- Jia En Koh, Senior UX Researcher
- Sigit Adinugroho, Principal Designer
- Shahina Khanna, Senior Designer
- Brandon Schmittling, Associate Director of Product Design