Murat Yilmaz, Creative Director at Fareportal, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at all things related to UX and design.
Fareportal combines travel and technology with sites like OneTravel.com, Travelong.com, and CheapOair.com, the third largest online travel agency in the United States. With $4.5 billion in annual revenue, what UX and design challenges does Fareportal face today? How do they conduct UX research? What’s their design process like and how are they using the UserTesting platform?
UX in Action:
INSIDE FAREPORTAL'S UI / UX / CRO
Project walk-through, Testing Framework, User Testing Best Practices
Murat YILMAZ User Testing Webinar – June 2016
Fareportal Brands at a Glance
“NEXT GEN TRAVEL CONCIERGE”
Fareportal is a technology company that powers
leading hybrid travel agencies like CheapOair,
OneTravel, and Travelong
• 7 Brands
• Head quarters in NY, 7 offices around the world
• 3700+ Employees
• Customers over 200 countries
• 21M+ Unique visit per month
About Murat Yilmaz
I joined Fareportal in 2008 and have held various roles ranging from
UI/UX developer, UI/UX Design Manager, Creative Director, and
AVP Design at Fareportal. I lead the design and UX teams (A/B
testing, optimization, and CRO efforts) for all products across the
organization. I also lead the strategic planning and innovation
initiatives for the mobile app, mobile web, and user loyalty products
for both CheapOair.com and OneTravel.com.
At Fareportal we rely on analytics, qualitative research, competitive
analysis and customer feedback to create the strategy and
prioritize. A/B and usability testing is heavily utilized to drive
constant optimization and successful product launches.
Design Team Function
Research, User Testing
Front End Engineering
A/B Testing, CRO
UX Maturity @ Fareportal
UX is ”Not Important”1
UX is Important but receives little funding2
UX is very important formalized programs emerge3
UX is critical and executive are actively involved4
UX is one of the core member of the organization’s strategy5
UX is in the fabric of the organization; not discussed separately6
UX – CRO Under Same Umbrella
• UX patterns changes overtime
• Optimization can be a tangible benefit of good UX
• Good UX can convert better with optimization
• UX & CRO complete each other
Qualitative + Quantitative = Success
Interaction with other teams
QA / BI / DEVOPS
1. Identify Current Bottlenecks + Define Success:
Where is abandonment most prevalent?
What do you seek to optimize?
2. Construct Hypotheses:
What are customers thinking as they navigate your site?
How does this influence their on-site behavior?
3. Frame Testing in UX Themes:
Test broad UX themes from which you can gather insights about user behavior.
Which changes to the customer experience most directly address your optimization goals and impact your
5. Align goals:
Explore alternate goals such as page loads, menu engagement, scroll depth, and custom click goals to extract the
most insights from experiments.
Consider customer segmentation as you time and sequence experiments.
Purposeful Approach to Testing
(Usability & AB)
300 hours of researcher time
(16-20 managed tests in a year, where UT executes tests that provide either an in-depth or executive summary report)
770 test credit,
(5, 10 or 15 users participate in each test yielding 50 – 70 self executed test each year)
Testing roadmap created between FP & UT
Product managers, Designers, and UX Professionals are involved in designing and executing test
Results shared amongst all stakeholders with some presented on product calls or town hall meetings
Fareportal & UserTesting.com
How we use user testing?
Web, mobile and App Testing
Replacement of traditional focus group
New product or feature test
Best practices @ Fareportal
1. Have a clear objective before running a test. Prioritize tests, based on impact to business and users.
2. Layout the ideal customer journey, and define it as the benchmark
3. Test early, during development, prior to release and after the release; test often
4. Retest over time 6 months to 1 year later
5. When you design a test keep the questions generic and the instructions very specific.
6. Repeat some instructions during the study
7. Document results, create an executive summary and share the findings with everyone
8. Consider bias feedback
Ask critical questions multiple times in different ways to validate the feedback
9. Consider starting bias with competitive benchmark studies
Run multiple test with different order. (A,B,C vs B,A,C vs , C,B,A)
The Predictive Home Screen
CheapOair Mobile App
What is the vision?
Why are we doing this?
What are the goals and objectives?
How do we measure success?
User research & testing.
Align with pre-defined personas
Feedback From Users Brainstorming Sessions Research and Discovery
Discovery & Strategy
Define the requirements
Define the phases to the project
Define user flow
Define stories and scenarios
Define functionality & behavior
Requirements & Flow
Book a ticket
Cross Sell on
Direction / Info
Create low-fidelity wireframes
Usability test wireframes & prototypes
Create the overall branding look and feel
Wireframes & Visuals
Implementation & User Testing
Brainstorm with team
Decide feature list
Sketches on Paper
1. Show best deals to user
2. Easier to navigate
3. Profile integration
5. Tablet Friendly
7. Integrated w/ social
8. View 6 months of fares easily
How likely you to use the
Explore for your travel plan?
Compared to other travel sites that
are available, would you say that the
Explore feature from CheapOair is:
How slow or fast was the
response time (speed) of the
How difficult or easy was
navigating through the
1. Helped us identify bugs that were missed during QA
2. Validated our vision
3. Validated upcoming features
4. Enabled us to see how different age group users interact with explore
Explore far exceeds what other travel sites currently offer. The Explore function just needs some adjustments
to make it more user friendly.
gregb2781, 63, Male US
Much better than Kayak's, which is the only other one I use and often has problems loading
Williamscd8 - 22, Male, US
Explore surpasses other travel sites that I have used. I love the detail design and layout.
csmall, 39, Female, US
1. Blog post curated articles on each destination
2. Weather forecast along with price forecast
3. Travel theme based search (beach, ski, golf, culture, history, casino etc.)
4. Sort cities by popularity
Blog post curated articles on each destination
This would be super nice to learn more about the
Travel theme based search (beach, ski, golf, culture,
history, casino etc.)--If you are keeping the name
"Explore" this would be a great feature!
weather forecast, activities-popular
attractions, events happening during time of travel
blog post articles on each destination would be a
helpful way for people to gather information about
possible places to visit
“ On the map, destination by airport should be
included, not just city.
Since this is a dream and explore type of function,
more photos for each city. Perhaps even a social
media type of interface or yelp-style star review for
Mobile Confirmation Page
Implementation & User Testing
Pre Development Prototype Study
1. 50-50 split between users who have preferred
confirmation 1 vs 2 prototype.
2. Users liked different things from each
3. Multiple users had difficulties with labels.
4. Some copy was hard to read
Version 2 Tabs Version 1 Scroll
Based on the findings we have addressed
the points came from study and created
better iteration for development.
1. Attachment rate improved on mobile
2. Feedback from customers was positive
3. Resulted in better customer satisfaction
Version 2 Tabs Version 1 Scroll
TV Ad Study
Traditional Focus Group vs User Testing
TV Ad Study
1. Cost Effective
3. Tested users CAN NOT influence each other
4. Geographically Diverse
5. Detailed report if you work with researcher
6. Good format and structure on report
7. Not good for brainstorming fewer ideas.
8. Can watch the video / clip on the report
User Testing Focus Group
2. Slow compared to UT
3. Tested users CAN influence each other
4. Not geographically diverse
5. Detailed report
6. Better format and structure on report
7. Good for brainstorming and many ideas
8. Can not provide recording of focus group
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