You spent a lot of time and effort “going mobile.” You finally have your offering out there, in the hands of all those mobile phone users. But, are they using it? Does it satisfy your travelers needs?
Do you even measure the usability of your booking app?
If you don’t, you’re running blind!
A recent study from thinkwithgoogle.com reveals that 69% of travelers say that they still prefer to book on their laptop instead of their phone because of lousy usability of mobile apps. The entire experience of searching, selecting, and booking in mobile is difficult and takes too long when you’re using a smartphone. People find it much easier and faster to do it on desktop.
Usability is crucial.
Usability, the Scapegoat in Product Development.
Usability is always “guilty,” the favorite one to blame.
If your product is struggling with user retention, conversion, or acquisition, “it is because the usability is poor.”
Usability is not an exclusive concept for software products, it applies to any product. The ISO 9241-11 standard defines usability as, “the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.”
- Effectiveness: The accuracy and completeness by which users achieve a specific goal.
- Efficiency: The resources spent in relation to the accuracy and completeness to achieve a specific goal.
- Satisfaction: The comfort and acceptability of use.
Usability defines how easy and pleasant people find your product.
Why Usability is Important for a Booking App
- Effectiveness: 45% of travelers say that they switch apps if it takes too many steps to book or get the desired information.
- Efficiency: 52% of travelers said they’d switch to another app because it takes too long to load.
- Satisfaction: 88% of travelers would switch to another app if yours doesn’t satisfy their needs.
It is important because the entire experience of searching, selecting, and booking in mobile device is much too complex and travelers don’t want to waste their time.
How to Improve Usability
The first thing is to measure the usability of your booking app.
There are a different methods and activities to evaluate how easy or difficult people find your product.
Here’s a few of methods and activities to start,
- Heuristic Evaluation. It is a great way to start and evaluates if your app follows the ten usability principles. This gives you an a complete overview of your product’s usability.
- Usability Testing. Lets you observe what people are trying to accomplish when they interact with your app. You get specific pointers as to where your app may be failing.
- Remote Moderated Research. A low cost method that can be performed from anywhere and connects you to your travelers around the world. No need to worry about geographical location.
anywhere and connects you to your travelers around the world. No need to worry about geographical location.
What Kind of Metrics Do I Get with Usability Testing?
- Completion Rate. Helps you to measure the effectiveness of your app.
- Time-based efficiency. A way to measure the time it takes people to successfully complete a task.
- Task Level Satisfaction. Standardized questionnaires that can be used after each task or usability test session.
Usability is Just the Beginning
With a lot of options to choose from, travelers will gravitate towards the best apps, those that will help them the most and offer the best experience before and during their trip.
Usability testing is not a one-time thing. It is important to continue measuring the usability of your product to improve it and continue to offer your travelers with the best booking tool possible.
If you’d like to know more about this topic be sure to register for our free webinar “Win Bookings by Preventing Usability Problems in Mobile Apps” on September 7th at 11:00 am PST. We will present a review of the top ten OTA Apps in the market.
You will see the most common mistakes that booking apps make and how to avoid them in your own apps.
If you have any questions, drop me a line at email@example.com.