Setting the scene

Booking a holiday with your agent is a time of joy and excitement, whether it’s planning that big adventure into the unknown, or simply some well-earned relaxation at the end of a busy year.

This means that it should be a simple process from start to finish, to ensure these positive emotions aren’t lost through frustration or confusion.

For the customer, this consideration means a relaxed and enjoyable experience while, for the agent selling that holiday, this means sales are closed easier and the chance of repeat business is maximised.

HotelPlan identified an opportunity to simplify the customer experience and help to preserve these positive emotions by revamping their traditional booking system for a modern audience.

Hotelplan booking backend

A fresh new look

The existing website offered customers a wide range of information and options to select from, but the design and interface often made it difficult to navigate. To overcome this, the site would need to be completely transformed into an online application.

While many of the features remained, the content itself would undergo an overhaul to remove complex, cluttered visuals and replace them with an optimised booking experience.

Before <—> After

Creating a blueprint

Because HotelPlan already had an existing site and code-base, we were able to get to work straight away on the design process. Firstly, we optimised the structure of the purchasing process, then redesigned and re-framed the holiday package content accordingly.

Once complete, this set of new visuals would then be coded into the agreed HTML, CSS and Javascript templates, which were simply implemented by HotelPlan’s in-house tech teams on their existing platform. Because we didn’t oversee the integration, we had to ensure we sent a complete product that was good-to-go straight out of the box.

A simpler way to browse

The old design contained a lot of clickable options, complex tables and sections of empty space, often not making full use of the available space.

We opted to simplify the overall navigation, presenting customer with 3 distinct options to reflect the types of holiday available – skiing, lakes and mountains, or flight only.

When browsing holiday options, agents would be presented with big visuals of each, delivered in a clean, clear interface that makes full use of the screen width. The visuals were designed so they could be shown directly to the customer, from within the booking system.

The interface header, navigation bar and overall colour palette gave the application a modern, on-brand feel, while the removal of more traditional website elements helped to de-clutter the visuals and shift user attention as required.

Font type and size were adjusted to ease readability and buttons were redesigned and coloured specifically to make them much more obvious. Not only this, but essential information like discounts and upsells were colour coded to grab attention.

The application would feature a secure login area for sales agents, that would also act as an all-in-one resource, with news, contact details and links to any additional information they would need. It also included an agent sign-up, password reset, and a how-to guide on using the new application.

Route Search
Flight Only
Accomodation

How did it perform?

While we did not implement the finished visuals ourselves, HotelPlan were able to easily integrate them into their existing platform. Feedback so far has been positive, with HotelPlan making further changes and adding additional functionality based on changes in their products and selling trends.

Overall, a much bigger focus on the general accessibility of the new system has given agents a powerful selling tool, and customers the chance to make more informed holiday decisions, with clearer expectations being set from the start.