BidAway is a website part of the hospitality industry featuring a bidding model.
The site offers a wide range of travel and activity packages through exclusive partnerships.
Potential customers were visiting the BidAway website but participation in the actual bidding process was too low.
In many cases, rather than leaving a room empty, hotels will prefer to sell rooms at a reduced rate - even opting for the customer to decide the price. Taking advantage of this, BidAway is a website that uses an auction process for a chance to win a reduced fare. Alternatively, if users prefer not to participate in the bidding process, the site allows for them to buy and book directly at a competitive price.
Prior to selecting the design method, we performed a standard SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) to see how BidAway compared to their competitors. We found that the website already had an attractive aesthetic that was strong in communicating the high-end services that their target audience demands.
With the BidAway functionality and infrastructure already strong, we wanted to determine where the best area to invest would be. We decided to use Kano Analysis, a research method that measures emotional reactions to individual features of a system.
With Kano Analysis we would be able to answer strategic questions regarding the features that have the highest satisfaction
Through the SWOT Analysis we were able to identify 28 important website features from which we chose 12 to be the main focus of our research. As Kano Analysis requires personal interviews with potential users, for each of the 12 features we created a sketch that would aid us in explaining to the participants how each feature works. During the sessions a predefined three-question survey was applied for each of the features tested:
Question 3 was answered on a scale of 1 (not important) thru 10 (extremely important).
The interview data was input into the CS (Customer Satisfaction) Coefficient formulas to determine both the satisfaction and dissatisfaction coefficients of each feature. The coefficients were then plotted onto a Satisfaction Coefficient Matrix as well as a Double Rank Visualization.
Finally, the participants were divided into three categories 1) Early Adopter 2) Late Adopter and 3) Non Adopter. The results were also analyzed using the matrix and rank visualization.
Analysis confirmed that Packages and Direct Booking were promising features for BidAway.
One of the main purposes behind the Kano Method is to identify where new concept creation could be most beneficial. Travel Inspiration came out on top as the feature that was not yet supported by BidAway but should be.
We created a straightforward and functional mock-up for the proposed Travel Inspiration feature that would function as the landing page for BidAway. Customers would be inspired with just three simple steps:
With addition of Travel Inspiration at the very start, customers will not be overwhelmed by the bidding process, but rather, be guided into the bidding process with ease and excitement.
Taking the time to apply a quantitative research method enables you to validate your assumptions about certain features and how they make users feel. The findings are oftentimes surprising and are always valuable.
The results from Kano Analysis are data-driven insights that are validated with statistical confidence. They disclose the level of satisfaction a feature would trigger among users. This quantitative framework can be used to guide the next marketing strategy.
Distribute your budget, time and resources: every project has its own needs, restrictions and set of design development resources available. Research results are not final in the sense that they’re not an exact recipe to follow. Rather, results point to and inspire the decision-making for the next design iteration. Ultimately, it is up to stakeholders to decide the next move based on the information that’s presented.