Nowadays your hotel’s website is probably its most important digital asset so it makes sense that you’d try to improve it with any chance you get, right? But with the web the possibilities are nearly endless, so how do you decide what to change to update your hotel website’s UX?
Our friends over at UserTesting recently hosted a webinar on just this sort of topic. They featured Frank Yoo, Head of UX & Product Design at Lyft. Lyft, in just under 4 years, has amassed a worth of over $5.5 billion as a rideshare company that expects to fulfill over 17 million rides per month throughout the coming 2016 year. Yoo recently headed a design and UX overhaul of Lyft’s mobile app and so he is the perfect candidate to give us a sneak peek into how a company with millions of users addresses UX updates.
Lyft’s App Redesign
Yoo broke down Lyft’s design principles into three basic phases that have to be built on top of one another. The foundation, according to Yoo, is to “Nail The Basics.” You need to not only have a solid grasp of the basic principles of design, but also have them implemented in such a way that your users will be well-acquainted with your site’s processes and patterns. Once that groundwork of good design is established then you can move on to “Building Confidence” by making design choices that will help build a relationship between your users and your brand. Lastly, once you have a devoted following and great relationship with your users, now you can really push the envelope and “Be Unique;” go forward with design ideas that will be both practical and visually impressive.
During the Q&A portion, Yoo got to field a lot of questions about what sort of processes Lyft had in place to upcoming UX and design updates. He stated that firstly you need to assess the idea and figure out if it accurately represents the ideals of your brand. He goes on to say “a new feature has to represent your company’s true colors. If not then that inauthenticity is usually really transparent with your users. Stay true to your core values and minimize brand differentiation.” After that he recommended to delay your dive into production of the idea, but to instead spend an extended amount of time and effort focusing your strategy.
“A new feature has to represent your company’s true colors. If not then that inauthenticity is usually really transparent with your users.”
Yoo kept reiterating that design decisions should be made first and foremost based on how closely this UX development would align with your brand, so let’s examine how Fuel has fared with our most recent UX addition that we’ve implemented.
We here at Fuel try to work with our clients to make sure that we’re making site improvements in a continued effort to best represent their brand and their core values. Recently, our clients over at Brittain Resorts & Hotels came to us for a solution to an issue they had with their direct mail marketing campaign. They felt it was very isolated away from the other online marketing endeavors and wanted to better incorporate it and align it with their resorts’ brands.
Their resorts offer fantastic amenities allowing them to be a family-friendly home away from home for their guests. They also do a great deal of business through their repeat customers who feel a special connection with their specific summer vacation hotel. Our new campaign really needed to push a more personable and friendly touch in an attempt to further instill a sense of confidence in these resorts.
We decided we could add a sense of personalization by giving each recipient of the direct mail piece a small section of the resort site’s digital real estate. We implemented personalized URLs that were unique to each guest and when they visited their own personalized version of the homepage they were greeted with an online offer displaying their name and echoing the deals presented in the direct mailer. This helped to utilize the direct mail piece to drive trackable traffic to the site as well as further creating a welcoming atmosphere for the visitor when they are greeted on the homepage by name.
We’ve just implemented this solution, so we’re still gathering usage statistics. Hopefully this UX update will be successful in its endeavor of creating a homey environment even while online.
It was a great experience getting to learn how a growing company like Lyft puts an immense amount of thought and consideration into their UX decisions. Their UI and brand reputation are definitely a standard to which other companies should compare themselves. If you’re curious about other great examples of a company really maintaining an excellent brand then check out our article on Kind, a health/wellness food brand. Or if you’re interested in learning how to analyze your UX from the perspective of differing personas then you’ll want to read our article User Experience: The Key to Driving Revenue. If you would like to find out how Fuel can help align your hotel website’s design with it’s branding initiatives, contact us today!
Tell us, how are you making sure your UX decisions and branding are staying aligned?