Discovery research, co-design, concept testing, usability testing and everything in between.
Too many ideas
Travel Local is a Bristol based ‘scale-up’ that connects travellers looking for authentic experiences to vetted local operators, who literally know the territory like no one else. Travellers get the insider knowledge only a local can provide, with the reassurance of booking with a reputable ATOL-registered UK company.
The company was growing fast, and building awareness with TV and online advertising. To maximise their return on investment, they needed to optimise the booking journey – getting prospects excited about a destination and inputting their preferences, then planning and booking their trip with a the local TL operator.
There was no shortage of ideas. Marketing, Product and the senior team were all itching to make changes to the journey. But resources were limited and they knew they needed to make choices. And to do that, they needed to understand the experience of a new potential customer.
Getting the user’s perspective
We recruited 10 participants covering two segments of TravelLocal’s target market, and set up a two-day research study at a local usability lab.
Before the study we agreed a discussion guide with the TravelLocal team to ensure we addressed all the important questions.
The journey we focused on started with a TV ad, then a Google search result and a targeted landing page, before the user arrived at the main site. The search result and landing page didn’t exist, so we prototyped that section of the journey to mimic the planned experience.
During the study, we explored the motivations, habits and needs of participants when booking a holiday. Then we showed them the TV ad and tasked them with finding out more about the featured holiday online.
The product team was keen for stakeholders and staff to see feedback first hand, so we arranged for people to attend different sessions and collaborate on note-taking using our Miro board.
After the study, we sifted the notes and summarised learnings in an Insight Library on Airtable – making insights easily accessible for future research and decision-making.
Finally, we ran a workshop with the team to reflect on what we’d seen and agree the key opportunities to improve the user experience and drive conversion. We also captured the ideas everyone was bursting to share using an Opportunity Solution Tree.
The TravelLocal team found the research really valuable. It helped answer their specific questions about the booking user journey. But it also informed wider discussions about perceptions of the brand and messaging that had been bubbling away for some time.
They wanted more. They decided to put user-insight at the heart of their design process. And within weeks of our project they had hired their first specialist UX designer/researcher.
We were excited about running our first proper user research session, and the outputs we received were really helpful. But the main impact of working with Panda has been to convince us to put user-centred design at the heart of our product development.
Tom Stapleton – Cofounder and Managing Director, TravelLocal
They’ve also made good progress on the opportunities we prioritised – ranging from simple copy changes, UX tweaks, and technical optimisations, to ambitious new features.
What pleased us most was knowing that our work had clearly demonstrated the value of putting users at the heart of the design process and convinced this ambitious company to invest in building their own user research and UX capability.
From insight and strategy, to design and delivery. Improving existing products or inventing new ones.