Research and ideation for a new travel management platform

User Experience & Usability

The Challenge

A corporate travel company approached System Concepts to support the development of their brand-new travel management platform. Their aim was to develop a solution that targets customers’ pain points with current and legacy corporate travel technology to provide new and improved user experiences in this space.

They wanted to understand the experiences and concerns of their international customer base, including those in charge of company travel policies and programmes, those who book travel for others, and business travellers themselves. The aim was to identify needs and opportunities and, using the research insight, to innovate and ideate to create user centered design solutions, services and experiences ready for their new platform launch.

What we did

We implemented a project plan based on Design Thinking principles taking a user-centred approach. We sought to understand the problems, reframe these and ideate with in-house teams to identify potential solutions, and to test these iteratively by engaging users in the process.

1. Discover

A workshop and journey mapping exercise kicked off the project and allowed us to understand how the system is (or is intended to be) used through the various stages of the travel journey; from planning (including tasks like seeking approval), to booking, pre-trip preparations, and tasks on-trip, through to post-trip activities.

We conducted familiarisation sessions with in-house experts to walk through and understand existing experience and capabilities of the travel management platform.

Based on this understanding and working from the baseline journey map, we layered insight and validated assumptions through research with end users. We gathered user stories and experiences with the existing system and feedback on where improvements need to be made. The research helped better understand roles within the Corporate Travel audience.

We created a highly engaging and illustrated journey map to share insight, engage the project stakeholders and ensure we had a shared point of reference for the project stages that followed.

Illustrations of customer journey

2. Define

We took what we had learnt about the corporate travel audience into a creative workshop. We devised a workshop structure drawing on Design Sprint techniques to take the insight, define problems and areas of focus, and begin to ideate potential solutions.

We discussed the benefits and drawbacks of proposed solutions and voted on what to take forward. During the workshop, we started to sketch what the concept experiences might look like, and further defined this into visual storyboards to help communicate the potential solutions after the workshop.

The storyboards were then presented in research with Travel Managers, Bookers and Corporate Travellers to review the concepts to refine them further; identifying strengths, weaknesses and gaps.

3. Create

We fed-back the research from the storyboard research sessions in a stakeholder workshop where we worked through a series of activities to build on the concepts and agree our design brief for what to take into prototype designs. We then built the storyboards into prototypes and created clickable prototypes to demonstrate key scenarios that could be tested with end-users.

4. Test & Refine

We planned and conducted user testing of the prototype interface with the different user groups from a range of corporate settings to test how well the design supported their tasks and needs. Careful analysis of this research clearly identified what should be taken forward into development and what could be improved further as the design evolved. The insight was shared in a final debrief workshop where we conducted activities to help plan the next steps and identify priorities to take the prototype through to reality.


Stakeholder workshops and resulting concepts

The research provided invaluable steer to the development of the new platform. The customer journey map proved to be a great point of reference throughout the project and ensured ideas and solutions were grounded in an understanding of the users’ experiences and pain points. Our work to support the process of reframing the insight and ideating solutions enabled the team to get to design solutions more readily, and our sketching and prototyping helped bring those ideas to life.  The research brought the team closer to their customer base than ever and provided a better understanding of the issues faced and work-arounds that needed to be accommodated in the new system.

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