Stena Line Website Redesign

Research

Quantitative research

Unfortunately without access to web analytics, the quantitative research here is limited. However, one very interesting statistic that is publicly available is:

This means that even if every car had 4 passengers (which is statistically unlikely), there are more passengers travelling without vehicles. We can use this info in two ways to optimize the flow through our booking process ensuring that "no vehicle" is the default option. A good analogy for best practice design is that you can imagine the design of a flow as a motorway. You want the greatest number of people to get to their destination (in this case, booking a ferry with their intended options) in the fastest time possible. If a user wants to do something different from the majority of people, they can pull off the motorway and get right back on it to finish their journey as quickly as possible. In general, as soon as a user has made a decision to purchase something, you can not simplify the process enough in order to get the purchase completed with the greatest amount of ease possible.

Usability testing findings and analysis

The key findings from usability testing with users on the full version of the site were as follows. The brief of the user was to book a ferry from Dublin, Ireland to Cherbourg, France, bring 4 friends and a vehicle on a range of dates in April.:


Other design concerns vs best practice

Target demographic

We will have incredibly wide demographic of target users for the website. We must remember that we'll be engaing with customers across multiple generations with varying level of computing expertise. One design principle we must adhere to in this case is simplicity. When we think of the most popular site in the world, google - it is essentially just a logo, with one text field and two buttons. The original iPods had universal appeal with the scroll wheel as it focussed on doing 3 or 4 pieces of functionality incredibly well. To this end, we will ensure our homepage is incredibly intuitive

Research Findings summary:

From the usability testing conducted, the understanding of our target demographic and in addition to the quantitative data we have, it's clear there are lots of opportunities to improve the website design and overall experience for the users. We will simplify the design and ensure the functionality of the website allows the users to complete the booking process as quickly as possible

Wireframes

Many users will have already had some level of experience of booking travel. This means most users will already likely have a mental model of how the booking process looks like. It's important to stick to the design principle of , while ensuring the process is easily percievable for users with no experience. With this in mind, it's important that the home screen looks clear and inviting. We also need to pay particular care in guiding the user through parts which are unique to booking a ferry - the ability to bring a vehicle and book a cabin.

We will also ensure that the user has the quickest possible path to complete the booking. From both a business perspective and usability perspective, as soon as a user has made a decision to purchase, you have to do everything possible to get them to the end as quickly as possible. In practical terms, this means defaulting selections/options to the choices which are most common for the greatest number of users. You will also see an example of that on the vehicle screen as we give the user the ability to skip the cabins section if they know in advance they are not interested. It's all about getting their trip booked as quickly and efficiently as possible so that they can go and look forward to their impending trip.

Home screen

Search results screen

Vehicle screen

Cabin screen

Review selection

Checkout form

Confirmation screen

Journey Map

A journey map is an important part of the design process which allows us to think through the goals the users are trying to achieve, the steps that get them there, any design points in keep in mind, and what the content priorities should be. This allows us to design the details. Good design and UX is all about details - and they shouldn't happen by accident. Journey maps come in various shapes and sizes as there is no universal template. Below is the journey map template I most like to use.

Design Prototype

We will also ensure that the user has the quickest possible path to complete the booking. From both a business perspective and usability perspective, as soon as a user has made a decision to purchase, you have to do everything possible to get them to the end as quickly as possible. In practical terms, this means defaulting selections/options to the choices which are most common for the greatest number of users. You will also see an example of that on the vehicle screen as we give the user the ability to skip the cabins section if they know in advance they are not interested. It's all about getting their trip booked as quickly and efficiently as possible so that they can go and look forward to their impending trip.

The screenshots below are scaled down. Be sure to click the images in order to view the prototype at 100% in best quality.

Home screen

Home with passenger menu

Search results for outbound journey

Search results for return journey

Add vehicle screen

Add cabins screen (page is scrollable)

Checkout: review selections (page is scrollable)

Checkout: form (page is scrollable)

Checkout: confirmation