LaQuinta hotels most loyal customers are lone salesmen travelling from city to town. The challenge was to build a new app that supported the "road warrior" with a quick, simple hotel reservation … usually made at the last minute. I was the UX Designer on the creative team.
The challenge for our team was to create a mobile app that uniquely designed for their most loyal customers, the road warrior. These customers are salesmen traveling from city to town without a set itinerary, making an on-the-go reservation for the same day.
The traditional flow for booking a room works well for a desktop computer, or leisurely browsing a mobile site for the next vacation. For this project, we needed a fresh approach that streamlined the interaction for our user.
From the research, we defined personas. Our primary persona was the road warrior making sales calls in a territory. The secondary persona was a leisure traveler planning a future vacation to a specific destination. Our search concept would be optimised for our primary persona while still catering to our secondary persona.
Defining the problem
We researched competitor apps, it was pretty clear that most of the hotel search apps out there today are targeted towards our secondary persona – travellers who already know exactly where they want to go. We saw an opportunity to focus on our road warrior who needed a room for tonight.
By this point, we knew what the problem was and the primary persona we were designing for. It was now time for the fun part: coming up with ideas to solve the problem.
We started by sketching as many different ideas as we could think of. Once we had a bunch of them, we discussed them in more detail and pulled out the key ideas.
Though many iterations and brainstorming sessions, we developed a concept — a home screen that presented a search based on the user's current location. Our app would anticipate our user booking a room for tonight within driving distance radius.
Knowing most salesmen work a regular territory, we identified "previous stay" locations and controls to mark hotels as favorites. The room type for the search matched the room type from previous stays.
To make it even easier for our road warrior, we created an Instant Hold feature that allowed our user to hold a room for several hours with just a phone number. This Instant Hold feature eliminated the time our user had to spend entering credit card details and had him back the road.
Wireframes and User Flows
Our client, LaQuinta wanted to be involved in the creative process. Designing for Mobile requires prudent use of space so I created hi-fidelity wireframes to ensure usability for our "on the go" user.
As I worked on the screens and flows, I hosted a bi-weekly call where I showed wireframes for individual screens and discussed the flows. The user flows showed a snippet of our personas to keep our focus on the user.
Final Documentation and Application Maps
When the flows were complete, the final wireframes were documented for the visual designer and development. Application maps cataloged the screens and the screen flows.
The final application