Holiday Inn is one of nine hotel brands owned by IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group). With humble beginnings as a motel chain, Holiday Inn now boasts over 1,155 hotels and is one of the most recognizable brands in the hospitality industry. Their most recognizable tier of service includes high-rise, full-service plaza hotels and low-rise, full-service hotels. Both offer a restaurant, pools, room service and an exercise room.
With the decline of corporate travel services, business travelers are more and more on their own to coordinate and pay for their bookings. IHG wants Holiday Inn to pilot a new program that will allow business travelers to cooperatively plan, book, and travel—making it easier for teams to stay together, whether their trips are for work or for pleasure.
Create a new collaborative hotel booking feature to the existing Holiday Inn native mobile application that reimagines how users consume content on a daily basis.
I was in a team of 4 UX Designers, primarily responsible for the wireframing and visual design.
Business travelers need an efficient way to coordinate and pay for their bookings because this responsibility is now increasingly upon them.
We believe that enhancing the Holiday Inn/IHG mobile application for business travelers, we will allow them to efficiently communicate and coordinate with others. We will know this to be true when we see increased bookings from new and existing customers who utilize the communication and collaboration features through the mobile application.
It was clear from the get-go that we needed to elect a leader (this being a team project) to have one unified voice. One that would mediate to achieve conflict resolution and be the overarching figurehead for the UX process. We did so and drafted a team plan that laid out deadlines and goals over a two week calendar period.
Although the Competitive Analysis had its influences, it was the user interviews that primarily informed our design. We blanketed our network with a survey that gathered information about their business traveling practices. Those that were deemed relevant to the problem statement advanced to the user interview stage of our methodology.
We asked questions about their current collaboration methods (the majority of whom which used texting or email to communicate with their fellow travelers).
An integral part of this design process was persona development. Our team went through a lengthy Affinity Mapping session to generate two solid personas (a primary and a secondary) that we felt comfortable with.
After several iterations with mild to moderate tweaking and intermittent testing, the next stage was narrowing scope and structure.
Affinity Mapping results
Upon completion of the extensive research done, each of the team members ideated and sketched their respective versions to the two personas. These sketches were then subsequently broken down into it's elemental forms, shuffled around and then assembled.
These versions of the sketches were subsequently “Frankensteined” into a unanimously agreed-upon version of a paper prototype where we pulled ideas from each member’s design that was thought-provoking, interesting, best practices, unique and/or necessary.
The resulting amalgamation looked something like this.
We came up with a user testing plan that would test the functionality of this prototype with rigor and then put the App Map together staying as true to the existing hierarchy as much as possible. This was achieved by solidifying some viable user flows.
User Flow #1
User Flow for creating a Group Booking
Sitemap for native iOS application
User Flow #2
User Flow for joining a Group Booking
Holiday Inn/IHG branding
Wireframing and Visual Designing for mobile-first
Working hands-on extensively with Sketch and InVision
Managing the dynamics of a design team and dealing with associated difficulties
Scenario: You are going on a business trip with your team and you have just read an email about IHG's new Group Booking feature. You are already a member on the IHG app and you now want to try out this feature with 3 of your colleagues on your upcoming trip to NYC this February.
Task: Sign in to the app and start a new Group Booking for you and your team to collaborate on. The business trip will be to NYC from February 19th through the 23rd.
Try out the clickable prototype below!