New Booking Platform

The Excite Holidays booking platform is the central application where our customers would collect, confirm, cancel and pay for all of their various travel items.

The booking platform had grown over 15-20 years into an overly complex application with many unused legacy features that were delicately held together through legacy technologies.

Old Booking Platform
Old booking platform
New Booking Platform

The Problem

Due to the complex legacy tech stack being used across the Excite Holidays shopping and booking platforms any small update or bug-fix would break other areas within the software.

Innovation had slowed and most of the 50 person IT team’s time was spent maintaining the legacy software.

As well as the jumble of legacy code holding the application together behind the scenes, the UI had evolved into two overly-complex versions: one for ‘Back Office Users’ and the other for ‘Travel Agent Users’.

The existing user-experience was hacked together by under-pressure developers needing to roll out hot-fixes, rendering the product more & more unusable with every update.

The Solution

Working with the product manager/business analyst and CTO we created a single application within the new technology stack with features,complexity and functionality that were only visible/available for back office users but hidden for our agency users.

As the application tasks/jobs were core to the business we researched and analysed all user interactions and journeys with the application using screen recordings and heat maps.

This process not only uncovered unknown flows that users had been using as work-arounds to the limitations of the application but also showed which UI interactions were key to the user journey and should remain within the same areas on the screen design.

Basic transactional user-flows such as payment and cancellation were monitored and friction was removed to make it easier for users to pay for items in their booking.

Usability Testing

Beyond just a visual refresh, there were many tasks and user-journey’s that had been updated within the new design.

To make sure that we were not going to cause confusion for our users as well as to gather feedback, we engaged in on-site user testing.

The key metrics we were tracking during our testing workshops were:

  1. Task Completion Rate (Effectiveness)
  2. Time on Task (Efficiency)
  3. Single Ease Question (Satisfaction)

The user testing sessions proved highly valuable not only for making sure that we were designing an effective, usable application, but also to give executive and stakeholders insight into how our users felt about the software.