EXPEDIA USABILITY ANALYSIS
A usability analysis of Expedia's web and mobile applications
About the Project
During the course of this project, we explored the usability of Expedia's desktop website compared to that of its smartphone app. With a specific set of common tasks between mobile and desktop, we compared various aspects of the usability concluding with computing the System Usability Scale - SUS Score.
We evaluated a number of travel booking apps. We chose Expedia because it is one of the more popular services with well developed Web and Mobile apps with the domains we were most interested in - i.e, Flight, Hotel, and Car booking.
Identified basic tasks a user would perform on Expedia (mobile, website).
Defined scenarios and tasks based on the findings.
Conducted Cognitive Walkthrough & Heuristics on both platforms.
Drafted a test script that encompasses every scenario and task.
Conducted a pilot run.Stage 6: Recruit participants to participate in user evaluations.
Recruited participants to participate in user evaluations.
Conducted user evaluations.
Analyzed video recordings and transcribe user quotes for qualitative data.
Analyzed video recordings to gather quantitative data such as number of clicks, time on task etc.
Created an Expert Usability Evaluation Report with detailed explanation of the issues encountered and recommendations.
Expedia's mobile apps on both iOS and Android have only a subset of features compared to the website. Since we are testing for usability and not other aspects like feature set, we had to make sure the test is fair between them. So we performed a comparative analysis of features between Web, iOS and Android versions, we selected tasks that were commonly available on all of them.
|Things To Do|
Users & Tasks
Based on the comparative analysis above, we narrowed down the tasks to be in the areas common between them. We conducted preliminary research on the most common tasks that users perform within each of these areas, and came up with the following tasks.
A total of 8 users tested out both the website and the app based on a set of 9 tasks identified based on prior evaluation.
We asked our participants to fill answer a few survey questions before the testing sessions to guage their knowledge and familiarity about Expedia and similar applications. Additionally, we measured Time on Task, and Task Completion as measures to comapre between the two platforms.
System Usability Scale (SUS) Results:
We used the standard post-test questionnaire for calculating SUS. Based on the participants' responses, we were able to get each participants individual SUS scores as shown below.
Mean SUS for Web - Desktop version: 71.56
Mean SUS for Mobile - app version: 74.68
Conclusions and Interpretations
It is evident from the SUS results that Expedia's mobile app is easier to use than the website. From our interviews and observations, it seemed like the our participants preferred the website. So the result was surprising. We think this was because of a few reasons:
- The app is very focused on achieving only a few taks
- There is less content on the screen to distract the users
- Most of the participants were familiar with app UI paradigms
But for people frequently using both versions of Expedia, they find the non uniformity of UI elements quite inconvenient.