Since 1925, Tauck has provided unforgettable journeys for travelers in all seven continents in over 100 destinations and 70+ countries. Intimate, authentic travel experiences are made possible by their long-standing supplier relations around the globe.
"How do we help our customers find trips and understand our travel products?"
After Tauck’s former Sitecore and design partner ended their engagement, users comprising an older population were left frustrated with a poor search experience. Cumbersome animations of the homepage’s “catch-all” search bar prevented users from reaching the full search results. For one thing, it’s capabilities for input were not intuitive. Filter functionality was limited or not working correctly, and the relevance of returned results was not weighted as expected. As directed by the client, future-proofing our many efforts and establishing simplicity was a top priority.
As part of a broader SEO and engagement effort, I also worked on a blog redesign and made many other UX and UI enhancements to other pages.
Using user feedback collected by the client as a starting point, improving the search experience continued with a usability assessment and UI research to establish opportunities for improvement. Aligning the search experience with users’ expectations and modern experiences included adding a date parameter to the initial search to return more relevant results from earlier in the search process. I simplified the initial search by removing unnecessary animations and live search functionality and added intuitive, useful, and requested filtering options to the results page.
The initial search became easier to use, focusing users on the location and the date of their travel. Ultimately, this returned more accurate results. The new “filter bar” puts more control into the users’ hands regarding finding a tour or trip of their liking. The most polar filters have prominent positioning. In addition to several other small tweaks, the client reported a much more effective search experience.
The animation of the initial search that occurs after users interact with it caused many unexpected screen changes and confusion. Furthermore, a live search component appeared as the users entered, let’s say, their location. In most user cases, the call to action to view all results was cut off from the screen (below the fold), preventing users from seeing a broader travel options list. Users also couldn't tell that the search icon was clickable.
All search filters were placed in a fly-out menu, forcing users to work harder to see filtering options and make changes on the fly. Furthermore, users couldn’t combine search filters under the same category, and there were significant color contrast issues.
To make filtering more useful, I added a “filter rail” above the results containing filters users used most. I moved less popular filters in the fly-out and removed the disabled filters from view.
Redesigning the filtering experience continued over into the product page.
One of Tauck’s challenges to solve was product navigation. In the Day-by-Day experience of the product page, users struggled to understand the itinerary of the trip. The map had functionality challenges in the previous experience, and the implementation forced users to work hard to scroll through the entire itinerary.
I redesigned the component to allow users to scroll at their own pace. Furthermore, I provided the option for users to toggle between a map view and a list view.
Originally named “Hotel Highlights,” this section wasn’t presenting a chronological view of where travelers would spend the night in context to the travel itinerary. Customers are sometimes on a boat and sometimes in a hotel. Therefore, “Hotel Highlights” was misleading.
Using the same components, I redesigned this section to order the accommodations chronologically based on the product’s itinerary, label the nights of the stay, and clarified the type of overnight stay.
© 2020 Manji Designs LLC / Brandon W. Mosley. CMS: CouchCMS