Every day you come into contact with thousands of products. Bad product experiences are remembered and the best products effortlessly weave into your daily life.
What distinguishes a clunky product from a seamless one? Research and design iterations, and lots of them. Great ideas require diligent attention to perfection. It’s easy to think of great ideas, however, it takes a lot of work to build an intuitive and cohesive experience.
At Egencia, we want to create a product that is a seamless part of your business travel routine. Instead of relying on our instincts to develop products, we let you, our user, guide us.
How do we do it? The Egencia User Experience (UX) team studies the motivations and behaviors of business travelers. From research, to design, to implementation, UX is centered on how a customer interacts with a product. Whether it’s the placement of a button or a font color, we consider all factors to help create an intuitive product that travelers want to use.
Our research goes beyond technology preferences to include how travelers and travel managers are affected by their environment, a research practice known as ethnographic observation.
Kyle Russell, Ph.D., and User Experience Research Manager at Egencia, leads qualitative research efforts that focus on how customers interact with our product in a variety of travel situations.
One way he does this is through usability studies. Before a product feature is released, a prototype is created for users to interact with. Russell provides a scripted task based on real-world business travel problems, and asks the user to walkthrough a new design concept. Multiple users are observed while interacting with the product, and Russell tracks patterns in the data. We use this information to decide if a product meets usability standards and helps the user achieve their goals.
Research can shed light on a wide range of issues and opportunities from small details to large product opportunities. Small issues can often be resolved with minor design tweaks. By using eye-tracking research, Russell was able to track a user’s exact journey through our product and found that connection time information was often overlooked, even when users required this information to complete a booking. Via his study and analysis, the issue was solved with a simple design change that darkened the font color.
On the other side of research, through interviews and observations, Russell found that planning business travel is often loosely coordinated among small groups of travelers. This prompted the development of the Egencia Group Trip feature that facilitates coordinating small group travel. Group Trip provides a quick and easy way to copy and purchase travel items from others in the group with just a few clicks. Travelers love the feature because they can bypass shopping pages and feel confident in their booking selections.
To truly understand user experience, the product has to be tested in real-life situations whether that be booking travel in an office environment, or renting a car, on-demand, in a new city. Kyle Russell also leads customer research in the field, in which business travelers around the world evaluate our product for efficiency and effectiveness in the wild.
According to Kyle Russell, “We’re not interested in data. We’re afraid of a life without it.”
That’s why we’re always listening, testing, and learning ways to make to make your business travel easier. Clicks don’t lie is not only a motto – it is a cornerstone of the user experience design process at Egencia.