Project Overview - Hilton Concierge App
This concept project was a group effort as part of the General Assembly User Experience Design Immersive course. We were given a hypothetical brief for Hilton Hotels and Resorts to address the problem of declining corporate travel bookings. Our research findings pointed out the main problem for users was actually that they weren't making the most of their time while travelling for work.
Our design challenge was to create a digital presence to match the Hilton's strong reputation.
My Role - UX Designer
Target Device - mobile application
UX Methods - Business analysis, competitive / comparative analysis, user research & interviews, personas, user stories & journeys, sketches, user flows & scenarios, wire-frames and sketches, navigation schema,, usability testing with digital prototype
UX Tools - pen and paper, online survey, Sketch, InVision, Keynote
Discovery & Research
- Competitive analysis
- Online survey posted to our networks to find users (82 responses)
- Online survey to respondents who fit our criteria
- 15 interviews
A common complaint heard in our interviews and surveys was that the online booking process for many hotels is clunky. People made comparisons to the easy and enjoyable booking user flow exmplifiied by competitiors such as AirBnB. The main factor that kept coming up was time - not maximising it while away in a new city.
Hilton has a two-thirds share of the business traveller market. In our research, many corporate travellers mentioned they find it inconvenient to stay at an AirBnB (Hilton's indirect competitor) for work due to the need to negotiate a check-in time, a lack of meeting spaces and other amenities. However, those same users stay at AirBnBs for their holidays. Recognising that the hotel market is highly competitive presented a big opportunity for us as a design team to improve the online component of the HIlton, not just for booking rooms but to take advantage of its strong reputation for excellent services, existing hotels and staff.
Understanding the Users
Methods: personas, user stories and journeys, user scenarios, task analysis, experience map
We created personas based on our user research and to help us keep a focus on user needs when designing a solution. We crafted user journeys, stories and scenarios to flesh out our personas, and adopted Barbara as the primary persona. She is a regular guest whose influence has wide-reaching potential for the Hilton, especially through her corporate life. Barbara chooses the Hilton because she trusts it and can reasonably expect quality amenities and a good night's sleep. There’s a Hilton hotel in most of the cities she travels to, so she can also add points to her loyalty status.
We analysed the tasks Barbara goes through when she’s on a work trip and annotated the user journey and experience map.
We were able to identify the pain points from our user interviews. The main issue that kept coming up was time — everybody wanted to be able to appreciate the places they were travelling to but felt restricted by time and a lack of knowledge. There are many resources to show people local attractions, however a person travelling for work often does not have spare time to look at various websites and apps to fully The problem therefore changed from that outlined in the brief, which directed us to redesign the online group booking process.
Methods: user flows, affinity mapping, feature prioritisation, sketches, wire-frames,
Affinity Mapping & Feature Prioritisation
Our goal was to create an app that would improve the booking process of the Hilton’s existing online services and to be able to organise their needs with the app throughout their stay. There was a disconnect between the brief's directions and our research findings, but we realised through our feature prioritisation process that we could address both.
We organised features into groups of must-have, should-have, could-have and won’t-have. The features we chose to focus on were:
- a concierge function to show the user what’s on in the area with suitable recommendations for sight-seeing, restaurants etc.;
- a map with annotated features near the hotel, such as running trails, cafes and transport options;
- ability to save their room preferences and book easily from their phone; and
- option to link their diary to sync their itinerary with events going on at the hotel.
We sketched wireframes and tested them, refining them as we went from paper screens to a high fidelity digital prototype. The main changes are summarised below:
- reduce the number of steps for each taskand allowing Barbara to save preferences;
- change the options from text to photographs for easier legibility;
- make icons more recognisable and labelling them; and
- tailor the home screen so Barbara would see immediately what she has on her agenda that day.
Since the UXDI course, I've explored the concept of an online concierge a bit more. The services of the Hilton already exist - an app is simply a way of highlighting them and making it easier for hotel guests to use them. The app would help someone like Barbara mange her limited time by featuring the following:
- Ordering a meal on the app from the hotel restaurant to be delivered to her room or picked up at reception at a specified time;
- Restaurants in the area recommended by the Hilton, potentially with special deals for Hilton guests;
- A 'What's On?' function with local events, theatre, cinema or sightseeing options;
- Recommended walking and running trails Barbara can access easily on her phone;
- A guide to the hotel's facilities such as meeting rooms, laundry/dry cleaning, gym, and transport options, and easy booking.
We made recommendations:
- testing the Hilton Concierge app’s functionality with Hilton Hotels and Resort’s restaurants;
- improve the Hilton’s desktop booking functionality in line with the Concierge app; and
- improve linkages within the Concierge app with flights to help customers arrange transport options to and from airports.