Hostelworld

Evaluating websites with eyetracking

Web Reservations International (WRI) provides technology, distribution and marketing solutions to accommodation and other travel suppliers worldwide through a network of owned sites and affiliate partners. The award winning websites they have developed include Hostelworld.com and Hostels.com (check out our Hostels.com case study).

Brief

WRI’s flagship brand Hostelworld contacted us to conduct some user testing on their existing website. They wanted early feedback on a proposed new site design which included faceted navigation, followed by user testing with eyetracking to determine how representative users use the site and the response to the new features they were suggesting.

Hostelworld-1-homepage

Activity

We ran a test over two days with 6 users per day conducting 1 hour interviews for each one. We recruited participants of varying age ranges and gender.

Participants were then interviewed using a mixture of self-determined and predefined tasks on the website. Typical tasks included using the search function to find a hostel.

Hostelworld-2-Search

We also gathered user’s opinions and thoughts by way of a survey at the end of the testing sessions to gain additional insights. Eye tracking was used to find out which elements of the page were focused on.

Results

We identified suggestions and improvements to the faceted navigation and new functionality early on in the design process. Changes were implemented and then a high fidelity prototype went through user testing to establish if further changes would need to be made to improve the usability and user experience.

We were impressed with the speed in which Spotless were able to mobilise this testing for us. Once in progress, they worked with us on the tests to maximise the time we had against the objectives we wanted to achieve. We got some great insights from our customers and were able to work these into the iterations of our designs.
Breffni Horgan – Head of Product – Web Reservations International (WRI)

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