Hotel Websites: Flagship User Experience

2 Jul 2008 - 4:35am
6 years ago
8 replies
1245 reads
John Gibbard
2008

Excepting the booking process, does the community have any great
examples of hotel sites that really show-off their accommodation
experience in an innovative and user-efficient way? We're trying to
avoid the tired thumbnail gallery of room images, a shot of the
reception desk and a bulleted list of facilities yadda yadda.

Anything from chic boutique, country resorts, urban bolt-holes and
budget chains gratefully received, on or off-list.

Thanks!

--
John Gibbard (User Experience Architect)
t. +44 (0)7957 102577 skype. johngibbard

Comments

2 Jul 2008 - 8:39am
dszuc
2005

Hi John.

We have done a few research pieces for hotel groups and you may want
to check out:

http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Default.htm

There are also a number of factors travelers from different segments
look at in pre, during and post the booking process. So my advice
would be to look beyond just the online channel part of the total
experience.

Other basic discoveries included: a brief booking process, the
ability to remember a profile/preferences and of course key
information about the rooms (you would be surprised how important the
bathroom is to people) but is often under sold on hotel web sites.
There is more and be pleased to share as you go along ...

rgds,
Dan

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2 Jul 2008 - 11:31am
John Gibbard
2008

The bathroom point is interesting. It also made me think about
property brochures where it's unfeasible to show the actual rooms
(e.g. not built) so they focus on example fixtures and fittings in
macro which helps provide an assurance of quality and finish. We've
been considering approaches like the slow-mo Ikea [1] how do folks
feel about this?

[1] http://snipurl.com/2ssj2

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2 Jul 2008 - 11:48am
Jared M. Spool
2003

One of the major chains (I think it was Westin, Hyatt, or maybe
Intercontinental) was using slo-mo ad campaign they've been running to
show how soft their beds are.

I'd check with your ad guys before you invest in that route...

Jared

On Jul 2, 2008, at 9:31 AM, John Gibbard wrote:

> The bathroom point is interesting. It also made me think about
> property brochures where it's unfeasible to show the actual rooms
> (e.g. not built) so they focus on example fixtures and fittings in
> macro which helps provide an assurance of quality and finish. We've
> been considering approaches like the slow-mo Ikea [1] how do folks
> feel about this?
>
> [1] http://snipurl.com/2ssj2
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=30965
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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2 Jul 2008 - 12:22pm
Caroline Jarrett
2007

From: "Daniel Szuc" <dszuc at apogeehk.com>

: Other basic discoveries included: a brief booking process, the
: ability to remember a profile/preferences and of course key
: information about the rooms (you would be surprised how important
the
: bathroom is to people) but is often under sold on hotel web sites.
: There is more and be pleased to share as you go along ...

Another feature that is often hard to find out is how to get to and
from the hotel by public transport. Two examples: a hotel in Phoenix
knew nothing about the excellent, very cheap, airconditioned town bus
service that stopped outside its front door, and a hotel in Baltimore
that denied the existence of the town bus service that stopped from
near its back entrance.

And in case that sounds USA-bashing, it's just as difficult in other
countries.

Thinking about that a bit more widely, it's also about the ecological
impact of the hotel. For example, do they recycle? If so, what?

Caroline Jarrett
caroline.jarrett at effortmark.co.uk
07990 570647

Effortmark Ltd
Usability - Forms - Content

We have moved. New address:
16 Heath Road
Leighton Buzzard
LU7 3AB

3 Jul 2008 - 3:41am
AJ Kock
2007

The bathroom issue:
People are naked in bathrooms and therefore feel vulnerable. People
cannot feel clean if they bath in an ugly bath. If you are male and
married, you might have noticed your wife (I talking in general here)
going on the most about the bathroom (body - cleaning), kitchen (body
- making food and eating) and bedroom (body - resting). All three of
these are vulnerable states, compared too for example the lounge,
living room, etc.

If your bathroom is not nice and clean, how can you be and feel clean?
If you kitchen is dirty, how can you be eating healthy?
If you bedroom is a mess, how can you sleep and relax? [Unless you are
a teenager, but that is another story. :) ]

4 Jul 2008 - 2:44am
dszuc
2005

John suggest you can also think about what makes the booking process
that little bit special?

Is it something the customer receives on arriving at the hotel (box
of chocolates etc), is it sending a map of the area and eating places
around, is it a % off the next visit, is it a free www.flickr.com
account for people to save their photos to when and after their
visit? Its the little things that can make for a nicer and well
rounded user experience.

rgds,
Dan

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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5 Jul 2008 - 3:06pm
Marilyn Matty
2008

Even though my opinion might be skewed because I had my best vacations ever
at these resorts, I think they do offer a great, quick loading room preview.
I like the 360 perspective for choosing a hotel for a longer stay:

http://www.littledixbay.com/suites.cfm
http://www.caneelbay.com/suites.cfm

Other good ones:

http://www.harborcourthotel.com/san-francisco-hotel-photos.html#
http://www.starwoodhotels.com/

HTH,

Marilyn

On Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 5:35 AM, John Gibbard <john at smorgasbord-design.co.uk>
wrote:

> Excepting the booking process, does the community have any great
> examples of hotel sites that really show-off their accommodation
> experience in an innovative and user-efficient way? We're trying to
> avoid the tired thumbnail gallery of room images, a shot of the
> reception desk and a bulleted list of facilities yadda yadda.
>
> Anything from chic boutique, country resorts, urban bolt-holes and
> budget chains gratefully received, on or off-list.
>
> Thanks!
>
> --
> John Gibbard (User Experience Architect)
> t. +44 (0)7957 102577 skype. johngibbard
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

7 Jul 2008 - 5:02am
Jakob Biesterfeldt
2008

Hi,

About user needs and expectations like wanting to know what the
bathroom looks like - we have done a lot of research for hotels and
online travel in Europe and have heard similarly interesting requests
including:

Close-up pictures of the floors/carpets
View from the window(s)
Pictures of the breakfeast buffet

Many people would prefer "realistic" pictures to glossy
professional shots. Videos and 360-views as well as interactive
"walk-throughs" are regarded as more credible than pictures.

Another frequent request is about being able to compare hotels and
hotel rooms easily. Has anyone seen a good example of online
comparison tools?

It's not particularly about hotels, but I like the idea and it's
fun anyway:
http://www.hungrysuitcase.com/

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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