We often map user journeys as part of our research, uncovering the steps that people go through, the tools they use, and the highs and lows in the users’ experience. The highs and lows tend to show the peaks and troughs in the emotions of users at each stage. Rarely do we find an emotional experience that flat-lines throughout the journey, but this was almost the case when we explored the traveller experience as the travel industry started to open up again following the initial Covid-19 lockdown.
The overwhelming emotions included feeling; frustrated, disorientated, annoyed, confused, nervous, anxious, stressed and worried. Some of the very few high points included making it to their destination or making it home!
Data from the Office for national statistics (Overseas travel and tourism, provisional: January to March 2021) shows that UK residents made 94% fewer visits abroad by air in Quarter 1 2021 compared to the same period the previous year, which is attributable to Covid-19. Holidays were the least likely reason for UK residents’ visits abroad. In Quarter 1 2021, there were just 49,000 holidays. Visits to friends or relatives were the most common reason for travelling accounting for 76% of all visits.
What were travellers top concerns?
We spoke to people who had travelled during the Covid-19 pandemic for various reasons including work, visits to family and friends, as well as for holidays. Their top concerns included:
Catching Covid-19 and the associated risks
Requirements changing before or during trip
Additional costs for tests
Having the correct travel documents
Having to quarantine
Test results not arriving in time
Losing money if unable to travel
Fewer things to do at destination.
Our suggestions for improvement
Quite often people felt lost and frustrated by the lack of clarity and direction, and sea of disjointed or conflicting information. Understanding the pain points and emotions throughout the journey highlighted many opportunities for supporting user needs. Along with the map, we delivered a series of design guidelines and highlighted a number of opportunities including:
a central location with up-to-date information and requirements (in line with government sources)
official links to all forms and trusted providers of services such as Covid -19 tests
a checklist with a timeline, that breaks down the steps users need to go through for the outbound and inbound journeys
notifications after booking and on-trip, which remind the user to complete tasks and detail any changes to relevant travel requirements or restrictions.
The Amadeus team have been working to integrate enhanced and new features into their products to support travellers. The research has been invaluable in tapping into the behaviours and opportunities and providing chances to iterate and ideate for features that will help travellers overcome the issues and help make the travel experience during Covid-19 times more seamless and stress-free in the future.
“This research provided by System Concepts is a crucial step to the success of Amadeus safe travel product. It uncovers the key elements to a better user experience in a challenging travel context during pandemic. The insights identified help steered the UX strategy in the right direction at a very early stage.
It has always been a great pleasure to work with System Concepts, and thank you again for the great job!”
Phoebe Liu, User Experience Business Lead for Airline Digital