Travel Apps for Seniors: A Redesign

The persona

While designers are constantly trying to innovate and create unique, forward-looking experiences, there is a large user demographic that still has not grasped the basic digital conventions.

For example, in an attempt to create a minimal interface, designers are getting rid of “Home” in navigation bars. They find it redundant and argue that to most of their users (millennials), clicking on the logo to get to the homepage is intuitive, and usability tests confirm this. While this is an established digital convention for younger users, a study conducted by Blink, an American User Experience Design Agency, indicates that 80% of participants aged between 48 and 66 years old are unfamiliar with the practice of clicking on the company logo as a way to return to the homepage.

5 seconds test

  • What did I just show you on the screen ?
  • What could you use this app for ?
  • What elements of the layout do you recall ?
  • If you wanted to book a flight/hotel room/car rental, do you remember where on the screen you would tap ?

Usability tests

  • Find flights from Paris to Cusco for a two-person trip going from May 3 to May 13, 2021.
  • The flights are automatically sorted by “Best”, try to show the results that would best suit your own criteria.
  • Find a flight that looks right and add it to your favorites.
  • Now, you want to find this flight again to show it to your partner. Where would you go to do that ?
  • You would like to look at the hotel options. Find a hotel to add to your favorites under the same trip.

Pain points

  • When searching for a flight, the app gives you info on the way it sorts its flights and on the current pandemic situation affecting travels. These two sections take a good chunk of the screen and make it so that the user has to scroll down to see the first results. 2 participants, out of 3, were confused by this and said they first thought there was no results at all. All users have admitted not reading this part of the screen, but have identified it as an obstruction to the flight results. They also didn’t care much for the flight search info but the pandemic needed to be addressed for sure.
  • When adding a flight to the favorites, you have to add it to an existing category (called a trip) or you create a new one. The participants had to create a new trip and 2 out of 3 were confused about the sliding card that appears on top to offer to create Alerts. To activate alerts the app forces you to create an account or log in to an existing one. So, deciding to go back and not create an account will show you again the categories you could save your flight to, making the users feel like saving a flight isn’t possible when it’s actually just the Alerts option that requires an account.
  • 2 out of 3 participants did not recognise that when consulting your trips, you could directly add flights or hotel reservations by tapping on the plus icon. The users thought they had to go back to the dashboard and start a search there.

Solutions

  • To avoid the results page to get cluttered with the info sections, I decided to bring the COVID-19 alert to the dashboard. This was also because considering the pandemic, I considered it an important information to display and more effective in the main page than on the results page.
  • So, once a search is launched, on this second screen I left the “About your flight search” section but reduced its text to 2 lines as the original section was too long to spark interest in the users. The link to learn more about it is there to offer extensive reading about the subject. This helped bring the results higher on the screen, letting the user know it’s time to scroll down to see more.
  • I also brought the Passenger, Sort and Filter options text from 24pt to 28pt as two users found it difficult to tap on it.
  • Once you tap on the heart icon to save a flight, the card slides up and you can choose with category you want to save it into. This is where I decided to integrate a toggle for alerts. So creating a new trip will automatically be Alerts-free, but if you are logged in or decide to create an account later the toggles are here to allow a quick editing if needed.
  • When you consult a saved flight or hotel booking in your saved trips, I decided to integrate two new buttons. One is for adding a new flight and the other is to add a new hotel booking. During my interviews I have noticed the participants have been very responsive to icons and seemed to find them easily recognisable. The plus sign icon did not resonate because they didn’t know what else or more was on the table. These icons are supposed to clarify the purpose and hopefully promote a more fluid navigation in saved bookings.

What I learned

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Delphine Brunetière

Delphine Brunetière

Product Designer (she/her) - creator of Devotion zine