The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts were losing market share to aggregator sites like Kayak and Hotels.com.

 

They wanted a solution that would .

 

Project Duration: 2 Weeks

Project Team: Diana Bloom, Kimson Doan

My Role: All tasks shared throughout the project

Deliverables:

  • Executive brief

  • Interactive Prototype

 
UNDERSTANDING PROCUREMENT
 

The first step in the project was to quickly educate ourselves on the procurement process and figure out how the pieces and parts fit together. We interviewed the client, then took steps to deepen our understanding by:

 

  • Talking to other people we knew who were involved in procurement

  • Surveying remote procurement specialists

  • Conducting card-sorting exercises

 

The card-sorting exercise helped us see where users tended to group activities, and through this we developed an "ideal" workflow.

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HEURISTIC ANALYSIS & USER TESTING
 

Once we clearly understood the steps and requirements in the workflow we started evaluating the application. We dug in and did a heuristic analysis, then conducted two live user testing sessions.

 

What we found:

 

  • The deal setup process lacked feedback and direction, and didn't inspire confidence in the application

  • The interface lacked consistency and cohesion

  • There was no contextual help

  • Users had no freedom during setup

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PROTO-PERSONAS
 

Now we had insight into the problem areas, and before we started sketching we wanted to make sure we weren't missing any high-level needs. To address this we created three proto-personas with different backgrounds, viewpoints and experience levels based on our understanding of the target audience.

 

This underscored the need for efficiency, flexibility and user control.

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SKETCHING SOLUTIONS
 

As soon as we felt we understood the process, the problem, and the high-level needs, so we got down to business and started sketching. To keep the project in scope we limited our design focus to:

 

  • Deal setup flow

  • Deal page

  • Dashboard page

 

The client provided us with mockups from an in-progress UI redesign.  We used these to underpin our solution, which evolved over multiple iterations through user testing and client meetings.

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USER FLOWS
 

Our first design iteration consisted of a "funnel" - a series of steps that were required before the user sees the deal page. We shifted strategy after meeting with the client, who felt the deal page was still too hidden and wanted to see a different approach.

 

The user flows illustrate the original and final redesigned flow through the setup process.

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FINAL DESIGN & PROTOTYPE
 
The final design concept consists of an overlay on the deal page that highlights the steps users take to set up a deal, while allowing them to see page details and exit at any point.

 

We also rearchitected and optimized the deal page by:

 

  • Placing the requirements tab first since this is the most important information for team members

  • Combining public and private discussions under one tab to eliminate confusion and free up screen real estate

  • Displaying the activity monitor separate from the tabbed area

  • Adding action "cards" to the dashboard and activity monitor to allow users to take actions in-line

 

When the design was finalized, we created an interactive prototype using Axure.

 

View Interactive Prototype

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New User Flow

The new user flow only has one mandatory step in deal creation. Once the deal is named, the user enters an optional setup wizard that steps them through the flow in a modal overlaid on the deal page.